On a very damp early Wednesday morning in June, we arrived at the Palmer Academy to open the first Edible Playground in Reading. BBC Radio Berkshire presenter, Sue Kinnear had arranged to meet us at 7am to talk to us about the edible playground to find out what it was all about. Despite the damp weather, Samuel, a pupil from year 4, enthusiastically gave Sue a tour of the edible playground and explained that his class had been very busy planting strawberries and raspberries and harvesting their amazing crop of broad beans, salad leaves and potatoes.
Behind the scenes, pupils were busy preparing for the launch event, making mouth-watering canapés with Idris Caldora, from Chefs Adopt a School, to include chick pea burgers, tomato, ham and mozerella bruschetta and vegetable sushi for parents and guests.
Pupils were also busy outdoors harvesting broad beans and salad leaves from their garden, with the help of our Edible Playgrounds Manager, Jenny Hindson. The crops were weighed and bagged up by the pupils and given to parents at the launch on the condition they send the school a photo of the meal they made with them. Their fantastic outdoor classroom was filled with pupils from Reception learning about the different tastes and smells of the plants they have grown in their herb garden.
X Factor finalist Danyl Johnson, ambassador for the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Mayor of Reading and MP Rob Wilson arrived to open the edible playground and pupils from year 5, gave guests a tour of the garden, explaining what they had been learning about and growing in their edible playground.
Deputy Head Teacher, Dom Prendergast did a fantastic job to make sure that the whole day ran as smoothly as possible and it was fantastic to see so many parents and people from the local community join the event to celebrate the opening of the garden. Here’s what he had to say:
Our Edible Playground has transformed the outdoor grounds of our school into an incredible food growing space. Children in city areas often have limited opportunities to learn and play in natural environments, so we are excited that our edible playground will provide our children and the local Reading community the opportunity to grow, cook and eat healthy, good food. We are continually striving to encourage our children to be healthier and we view the edible playground as an opportunity to develop this further as well as bring learning outside the classroom.
And the Edible Playground community is growing. There are currently over 30 Edible Playgrounds in the UK and we’re keen to create more. With your money we can build a network of edible playgrounds around the UK, each one enthusing young people about healthy eating and getting active outdoors.
For more information or to discuss options for your business or school, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org