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"I didn't think I liked beetroot before, but I know I like it now!"
Staff and children at Shipley CE Primary School are busy getting ready for the new growing season. Following on from a salad tasting session, year 6 pupils sowed salad, pea and beans in seed trays and worked in teams to make light reflectors. The reflectors will ensure that the plants get a good start on the classroom window sill before being planted out in the school grounds later in the year. Thanks to additional funding made available from the Local Food Lottery Fund, the school will soon have their own plant house which will be used to harden off seedlings, and a team of parents organised by will be coming into school to help fill new raised beds with soil. The school are being supported in developing their food-growing expertise by staff from Bradford Community Environment Project who will make a series of visits to train up children and staff.
On the eve of advent, children from Shipley CE Primary School had the chance to make traditional winter wreaths as part of their visit to White Quarry Farm. Having visited the woods to gather evergreens, they used these to decorate a ring made from willow cut at the farm. Each pupil was able to take home their own wreath to share with family and friends. The visit also included a farm walk led by Tango Fawcett where they saw the harvest of 2012 in the grain store as well as next year's wheat crop starting to grow in the fields. The children also had the opportunity to make butter and grind wheat to make flour. Mrs Holmes, the class teacher said it was a "Fantastic visit, the children learnt so much. We would love to come again"
Soup for tea
Leek and potato soup will be on the menu in many Wyke homes following on from a cooking session at Worthinghead Primary School led by Jane and Rachel from Curriculum Kitchen. The children were taught some of the skills needed to make a tasty soup and potato scones. Jane said
'We enjoy being able to enthuse the children with the joy of cooking and eating local food....directly through their stomachs! Hopefully equipping them for the future with everyday kitchen skills and simple, readily available, locally grown and produced ingredients.'
The children were sent home with a bag containing all the ingredients needed to make the soup again at home, meaning that they will have the opportunity to practice what they have learned, and families will get the benefit of their new skills. The bags were supplied by Keelham Farm shop, ensuring that the meal will be locally sourced as well as seasonal and delicious.
Further cooking sessions run by Curriculum Kitchen with soup bags from Keelham Farm shop are planned for Yorkshire Food Discovery Schools later this term.
"It's a boy"
Staff and pupils from Shipley CE Primary School were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when they witnessed the birth of a calf at Osbaldeston Hall Dairy Farm. As well as being there for the birth, pupils had a tour of the family farm, owned and run by Chris and Erica Bargh situated in the heart of the Ribble valley. This included seeing livestock fed using a computerised, automatic feeding system. They also visited the milking parlour to see the "robotic" mechanised milking system which means that cows can be milked when they choose. This makes for a relaxed life-style for cows and farmer alike.
Had the calf been a female, he would have joined the 160 strong dairy herd, but being a boy, he is destined to find a new home at a neighbouring beef farm. By the time the visit was over, mother and son were both doing well and standing up!
Further visits to Osbaldeston Hall farm, again led by Lee Holmes and Mark Scrimshaw on behalf of the Country Trust, are planned for Yorkshire Food Discovery Schools later this term.
Butchery demonstration at Tang Hall Primary School
"What happens to the tail?"
This and other questions from pupils at Tang Hall Primary School in York were answered by Darren Hargreaves, a butcher from Anna's Happy Trotters free-range pig farm near Howden. As a follow-up to their recent visit to the farm, children observed Darren working on half a pig. They learned how butchers work together as a team to prepare cuts of meat ready to be transformed by chefs and household cooks into tasty meals. He had some handy tips for making good crackling as well as some cracking good stories about his job. Asked what he enjoys most about being a butcher, Darren revealed "the chance to make a difference to people's Sunday dinners."
Pupils visit a free range pig farm
"Can we go round again?"
Pupils from Brotherton and Byram Community Primary were in no hurry to return to school at the end of their trip to Anna's Happy Trotters near Howden. During their half day visit they were able to find out first hand, from the expert, what is invol;ved in breeding pigs and ensuring that high animal welfare standards are maintained. Anna Longthrop, who started to help look after pigs when she was only eight years old, is keen to help the next generation understand more about where their food comes from including the difference between free rnage and outdoor bred pork. Children enjoyed a rare chance to wade through mud after days of heavy rain, but even more popular was the opportunity to stroke a piglet. Future visits from more YFD schools are planned and Anna has booked a follow-up session demonstrating butchery at Tang Hall Primary School in York.
Find out more about Anna's Happy Trotters here
Wensleydale Creamery inspires a new generation of cheese makers
Luke Wall is considering a future career as a cheese maker following a very successful workshop held at Tang Hall Primary School. Alison Whitehead and Lucy Barrow, Yorkshire Food Discovery (YFD) Food Heroes from Wensleydale Creamery, demonstrated all the stages involved in making Wensleydale Cheese including adding rennet, making curds and whey and wrapping the cheese in a bandage ready to store. For many pupils, the most popular activity was testing a variety of cheeses from the Creamery. Logan commented "I liked tasting the cheeses, all of them!" Pupils also had the chance to use cheese from the Creamery as an ingredient to make Wensleydale Cheese & Apple Bread Bakes with help from Curriculum Kitchen.
Six of our current Yorkshire Food Discovery schools have also hosted similar workshops designed to help children understand more about an important local business which provides a distinct and popular product. Alison and Lucy have been very busy, but are keen to visit more YFD schools:
"Lucy and I had a great time meeting all the children. We hope that they enjoyed making cheese with us as much as we enjoyed making cheese with them"
Find out more about Wensleydale Creamery here