Schools in Norfolk and Suffolk set to grow potatoes

Thousands of schools across the country have registered for the latest 'Grow Your Own Potatoes' educational project.

With the deadline for applications on Friday, February 3, a total of 14,000 schools have already applied to join the scheme. And 224 Norfolk schools have registered as well as 151 in Suffolk, according to the Potato Council.

Last year, there were a total of 3,333 schools in the east and south taking part out of a national total of more than 12,000, which included 307 schools in Norfolk and 196 in Suffolk.

Grow Your Own Potatoes, which is now in its eighth year, is one of the most popular projects for key stage 1 and 2 pupils at primary schools.

Sue Lawton, education co-ordinator, said: 'The project has been one of our biggest campaign successes, bringing potatoes to life for over one million pupils to date.

'For 2012, each school will receive a newly-designed presentation box, which contains everything they need to chit, plant, grow and harvest two varieties of potatoes.

'We're delighted to have eight seed potato suppliers working with us again this year, donating free seed potatoes to schools throughout the country, which means every region has a different variety to grow.'

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All schools will receive Rocket seed potatoes with three for planting and the fourth used as a 'beneath the soil' example. When planted in the plastic container provided, pupils can see the seed shoot and grow, so they get an idea of what is happening in their grow bags.

The other seed variety, Rudolph, is being provided to the region's schools by March-based Fenmarc.

A new project, Cook Your Own Potatoes for secondary schools, has also been launched. It aims to equip students with basic food preparation and cooking skills and provides information on nutrition. Lesson plans, skills and recipe videos, fact sheets and many other resources about nutrition are available at

For more information about the project, visit