Popeye’s power proven – spinach gives you strength!

Pupils growing spinach have, indeed, gained Popeye’s powerful strength at St Christopher’s Primary School in Suffolk. Key Stage 2 classes have participated in our Food Discovery Programme for the past three years, learning to grow, cook and eat their own healthy vegetables. However, it is during this current crisis that they are truly enjoying the fruits of their labour and are sharing their success with the wider school community.  

Despite this year’s programme being on hold, key-worker children continue to nurture the beds in their school garden, triumphantly producing the super spinach pictured left. A Year 5 child said, "I really enjoy coming to school and doing the Country Trust gardening because I live in a flat and can't grow much. At home, I have planted some seeds in pots so we can grow things but it's nice to come and work on the growing beds in school with my friends." 

Not only have St Christopher’s pupils worked incredibly hard to grow their garden during lockdown, the terrific teachers have also been using it to reach children who do not have access to a garden by sharing weekly video updates on the school’s website. Sally Hetherington-Aherne, our Food Discovery Coordinator and a familiar face to the children, has also contributed to this exceptional effort by creating curriculum links in her own video diaries which demonstrate how to weed, sow and grow plants. Sally’s videos can be viewed on The Country Trust page of St Christopher’s school website, here.  

Generous support from new Country Trust farmer hosts, Rosie and William Van Cutsem, has made the programme possible this year. They express their pleasure in facilitating such invaluable experiences: 

“We have loved working with the Country Trust. Their passion for bringing food and farming alive for the children is wonderful to see.  There is an equal dedication to education and fun, giving some of these children a rare glimpse of open fields and experiencing the joy of digging up potatoes and eating them for lunch! The impact of these field trips and class growing sessions is long-term and meaningful to the children and their families in so many ways, and we are delighted to support them.” 

From field to fork, pupils have fostered a new-found connection with their food through discovering where it comes from. Whether it be a potato, a tomato or a spinach, the strength that children gain from time spent learning outdoors is enormous. 

Popeye’s power proven – spinach gives you strength!