Islanders who forget their shopping bags are helping children get their hands dirty and learn a bit more about local farming and where their food comes from.
The Farm School Initiative has been given a £2,000 cash boost from the Co-op’s Eco-Fund – set up to raise money for environmental initiatives from the sale of their plastic bags.
Grace Davies set up the project on her family’s farm in St Martin earlier this year to give children the chance to grow their own crops.
She said: “It’s a six week project – the children come up once a week either in the morning or afternoon, they have their own plots and they grow their own produce.
“We work around the school term, what produce grows well at that time, what’s colourful, what will grow well here on the farm.”
The children also go home each week with a bag of veggies and a recipe so that they can cook up a healthy meal at home.
Children from De La Salle and Mont a l’Abbe School were the first to get digging at the farm and the Co-op’s funding will help pay for another town school that doesn't have much outside space to learn the value of growing.
Grace said: “The Farm School Initiative is delighted to have support from The Co-operative Eco-Fund this year. It means a great deal to our project and to the children who will be able to join us in the spring term.
“The funds will be used to enable a town school to join us to grow their own produce, develop their understanding in farming and where their food comes from.
“We hope our project inspires children, encourages them to value the growing process and pursue a healthy lifestyle. We could not possibly do this without the help of the Eco-Fund.”
The Co-op has paid out over £280,000 to help environmental causes in the Channel Islands since it set up the fund in 2008.
Other local causes to benefit this year include Jersey Mencap who have been given £1,315 towards their Rozel Pond Project, Société Jersiaise who received £1,500 towards the Jersey Dolphin and Whale Monitoring Project, and Birds on The Edge who have been given £2,000 for its Winter Food Campaign.
The Society’s chief commercial officer Jim Plumley said: "We’re very proud to be able to put something back into the communities we serve in Jersey and Guernsey, by assisting several organisations to carry out projects to the benefit of all islanders.
"It’s always difficult to choose which applications to support but we feel that once again this year we have chosen some very worthwhile initiatives."
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