Since the beginning of the year Life Matters has been following children from primary schools in Norfolk taking part in the Food Discovery Project. Emma Harrowing catches up with their progress.

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Teaching children that their food comes from the soil rather than just from the supermarket is an exciting challenge for the Norfolk Food Discovery Project.

And it is quite a task especially with chicken nuggets, chips and burgers temptingly easy to cook.

However, for the past six months the Norfolk Food Discovery Project has educated children and their parents in where their food comes from, taught them how to cook quick healthy meals and encouraged practical growing sessions with the children so that they can grow their own food.

Children have visited farms, sown the seeds for their first crop and had their first cookery lessons in a bid to eventually harvest their crops and cook a feast for their parents and fellow pupils.

The project is managed by Christabelle Diks who works for the Country Trust.

“This is a project that will continue for three years,” says Christabelle. “It will give 540 primary school children and their parents from the neediest areas of Norwich and Yarmouth the chance to grow and cook their own food.

“Much of Norfolk’s prosperity comes from agriculture and with healthy eating being an important part of a full life, knowing where food comes from and having the skills to cook a healthy meal is one of the life skills children need to have. This is the second set of children to take part in the scheme and it looks like it will be just as successful as the last one.”

Children taking part in the project visit three different farms throughout the year to see what’s growing in different seasons and to learn how food is produced on a commercial scale.

A few months ago Peterhouse Primary in Great Yarmouth spent the day at Hill Farm within the Crown Point Estate in Kirby Bedon in Norwich. Here are some of the children’s accounts of their experience.

Well you’ll never guess what I did this week? Me and my class went to Kirby Bedon (it’s a farm!). It stunk, but we coped with it (sort of!). When we were there we saw loads and loads of sugar beet. We even got to take some back with us. Then we saw some potatoes, but on the way to the shed, we had to get through some absolutely enormous puddles. We saw loads of cows there (it was gross when we saw one pooing!) I got stuck in a puddle and fell in one!

Liam

Squelch, squish, squash, that’s what I heard when I walked through the mud. I walked for a really long time but it was worth it because I brought back a giant potato and a sugar beet. I especially liked the puddles, it was like my foot was stuck in a well. It was really deep.

At the dairy, I saw lots of cute baby cows. They reminded me of my dog. In the dairy I heard cows mooing.

I really enjoyed my trip to the farm. My favourite part was when I saw baby cows and adult cows. When I got home I showed my mum and dad my sweetcorn, a ginormous potato, and sugar beet. I can’t wait till we go on the next farm.

Sharna

Guess what happened to me? When we got off the coach the ground was as sticky as a lollipop. We started to walk on the field. Suddenly I found a sugar beet on the floor. It was huge and it looked like a carrot; well, the shape did.

When we got half way, what we found in the ground was a wheat seed. It looked really weird because it had grass on top and a little red bit on the end of the wheat seed. Next, we saw some sweetcorn. We had to peel some and we also got to take some home.

Next we went over to the potatoes. They were massive. One looked like a dog. We got to take a big brown potato too. Then we walked in a huge puddle. It was awesome. We went to the toilet because we walked through loads of fields. Then we went on the coach and went back to school.

Catrina

Wednesday was fabulous because we went to Mill Farm in Kirby Bedon.

Some of the fields had sugar beet and you can make your own sugar.

We also saw some different plants like the oil seed rape.

We also saw some Egyptian birds that were pheasants – I think they were.

Next we went to a humongous potato shed with millions of potatoes. They were huge and they were lots of different shapes. You can use the potatoes for jacket potatoes, chips, also waffles.

The ginormous potato shed is very dark and spooky. It seems like you are at 12 at midnight. They were humongous piles of scrumptious potatoes.

Finally we went to the dairy and we saw some baby cows called calves, and we saw some that were only one week old. Also we saw some adult cows that produce 40 litres a day, and that is every day.

They get milked 4am and 3pm, that’s in the morning and in the evening.

When I got home I told my mum about the cows, and that the fantastic day was great.

Georgina

Find out more about the Norfolk Food Discovery Project by clicking on the link at the top right of this page.

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