Waitrose scheme supports children growing and selling vegetables

GREEN FINGERS Benjamin Saunders and Elizabeth Pearson from Padnell Infant School who took part in the scheme last year
GREEN FINGERS Benjamin Saunders and Elizabeth Pearson from Padnell Infant School who took part in the scheme last year
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Waitrose is relaunching its national Grow and Sell scheme this month to encourage schoolchildren in Waterlooville to grow their own produce and sell it outside their local Waitrose branch.

The scheme, which began in 2013, aims to inspire seven to 11-year-olds to grow their own produce during the summer months while learning where their food comes from and developing their entrepreneurial skills. Waitrose will distribute Grow and Sell kits to schools around the country to help get school vegetable patches up and running.

The kits contain seeds to grow vegetables such as basil, beetroot, courgettes, red lettuce, green lettuce and snap peas, as well as step-by-step growing instructions and gardening equipment. Children will also receive badges to designate roles for both the growing and selling elements of the scheme.

Duncan Edwards, branch manager at Waitrose in Waterlooville, said: ‘Having seen the success of the project in previous years, it brings us immense pleasure to be able to offer the Grow and Sell scheme to many more schools. We hope it will encourage children to choose to eat well, and inspire entrepreneurial minds to flourish.’

This year, Waitrose will also be opening up the scheme to local community groups, such as Scouts and Brownies, to give even more children the opportunity to get involved in growing their own produce.

Once the produce has been grown, children will be encouraged to sell their produce outside Waitrose in Waterlooville.

Children, parents and teachers will also be able to access information on the Grow and Sell educational app. The app features include a crop timer to advise when produce needs planting and harvesting in order to produce the greatest yield.

The Grow and Sell scheme has been immensely popular in Waterlooville with Waitrose customers supporting their local schools by dropping a green token into a Community Matters scheme box, and casting a vote for Waitrose to fund the initiative. Local branch partners will also be volunteering their time to support schools with the scheme.