Lisburn-based social enterprise Kinder Garden Cooks has joined forces with organics recycling firm Natural World Products (NWP) and Patch Seed Potatoes for an initiative to encourage primary school children to get growing.
The ‘Purple Potato Project’ will see 280 P1 pupils at schools across the Lisburn area take part.
Each child will receive a bag of New Leaf Compost from NWP, which converts local household food and garden waste into organic, peat-free compost, and a newly-bred purple seed potato from Patch Seed Potatoes.
Participating schools include Friends’ Prep, Wallace Prep, Forthill PS, Pond Park PS, Ballycarrickmaddy PS, Moira PS and Rowandale Integrated PS.
Sharon McMaster runs Kinder Garden Cooks which teaches and encourages children to grow food and cook. She said the initiative will enable children to continue learning about growing despite the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
“It is great to be able launch this initiative with schools where we would normally be running our gardening clubs.
“The Purple Potato Project is just one of our ideas as we seek to continue supporting schools and their teachers with horticultural know how and opportunities, with the help of our volunteering team, helping them to de develop outdoor spaces for ease of use.
“Wishing all the kids the best of luck with the purple potatoes and we look forward to returning to gardening with pupils in school in the future.”
NWP Chief Executive Colm Warren said:
“We are pleased to once again come together with Kinder Garden Cooks to support this fantastic initiative.
“We are rooted in the community so it is particularly rewarding to know that our compost is being used to provide children with some fun and enjoyment during these very difficult times.
“It’s truly satisfying that the compost the children will be using has been generated utilising food and garden waste collected from the very communities the schools are located in.
Alex McCreight of Patch Seed Potatoes added:
“We are proud to be joining with Kinder Garden Cooks to support local schools in this special gardening initiative.
“The seed potato we’re providing the schools with is a brand-new variety of purple potato, and so, it doesn’t actually have a name as of yet. Therefore, we’re inviting all participants to get creative and have a go at developing a name that could potentially be used for this new variety.
“We really look forward to seeing how the children get on, hopefully they enjoy growing their own produce – and we are excited to hear their ideas for naming our new potato!”
NWP, headquartered in Dunmurry processes 200 thousand tonnes of food and garden waste annually, which is then converted into high quality organic compost to be used by councils, agri-growers, and the horticultural sector across Northern Ireland and further afield.
Patch Seed Potatoes is part of McCreight Potatoes Ltd, a family run business located near Rathfriland, Co Down. They focus on the production and supply of premium seed potatoes for UK, Ireland and export markets.
The Purple Potato character is desiged by artist Corrina Askin. Photography by Jude Rankin.