A massive well done to all the pupils at Hythe Primary School who take our School of the Month Award! Not only have they excelled throughout November but we have received feedback and some wonderful photos every month since our Learn Your Fruits and Vegetables programme 2013-2014 launched in September.
This month, they used ourMushroomresource to makebutton mushroom, spinach and lemon salad- a vibrant dish with a zingy dressing. Mushrooms are fantastic raw as well as cookedand when thinly sliced they soak up any dressing like a sponge making them a great carrier of flavour! The children learnt how to slicemushrooms and finely chopthe spinach and how to use a microplaneto finely grate lemon zest for the dressing. Their teacher has said that with each lesson her pupils are getting braver with their food choices and many of the children now wish to try fruits and vegetables that they had never eaten before!
One pupil who loves the lessons said'Can you bring in a whole bunch of ingredients and we can design our own recipes, like Jamie makes his up?'We were thrilled to hear this and we are so glad that the children at Hythe Primary are thoroughly enjoying the programme -we can’t wait to hear more!
The Kitchen Garden at Orford
What a great term it has been so far at Orford Primary School in Suffolk, one of our 12 Kitchen Garden Projectpilot schools. We have been receiving some wonderful feedback from both their kitchen garden and classroomand we are thrilled to share with you a report from Orford this term!
In the kitchen garden, pupils have been learning new gardening skillsand helped to grow a wonderful harvest of parsnips, leeks, chard, cabbages and kaleto use throughout the winter. Lots of the children have also been sweeping up the leaves to make leaf mould that they then used to mulch the new hedge plants they’ve put in.
One of the major tasks taking place in the garden at Orford this term was moving their strawberry bed. The children helped to dig up and split the strawberry plants into pots to be replanted in their new bed come Spring! The teachers at Orford have also been linking the children’s gardening lessons to different maths and sciencetopics and we hear that the children love getting outside-whatever the weather!
To see some more pictures of Orford pupils in their kitchen garden see our facebook page by clicking here.
Cooking at Orford
There has also been some amazing work going on in the kitchen classroom at Orford this term, from the 4 year olds right up to the more experienced and skilled Year 6 pupils. The children have enjoyed making apple & blackberry crumble, homemade apple pie, poached pears, baked plums with vanilla and beetroot and chocolate cake-it’s amazing how many of the pupils will now eat beetroot! We hear that one of the biggest hits this term was roasted squash (from the garden) & feta salad–it was made in all three lessons and each time the whole plate of salad was demolished!
Reception and Class 1 have been following our lesson plans this term to learn about the five senses by describing, touching and tasting different types of foods. The children also learnt about the fives tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savouryby making some our simple recipes including box grater fruit salad, Orchard Eve's pudding and potato salad with yoghurt dressing.
The Year 6 pupils also did an amazing job making a special Christmas lunchfor their friends from Lane Farm Pork using wonderful produce from their garden. The children made chicken & sweet leek pie, perfect potato gratin, roast vegetable megamix (beetroot, swede, parsnip, carrots all from their garden) and to end perfect mince pies. What a feast! We hear their guests were very impressed.
Orford also continues to sell their YUM! pasta saucein the local shops and their Strawberry Jamhas just sold out for the second time-well done!
We are so thrilled to hear of all the amazing work happening at Orford this term and we look forward to hearing how things go in the New Year and what tasty dishes the pupils will be making using their own home grown produce!
To see some more pictures of Orford pupils in their kitchen garden and classroom see our facebook page by clicking here.
A busy week at Lubenham!
It has been a fantastic few days at our pilot school Lubenham All Saints CE Primary with pupils following not just one but three of our fruit and veg resources cardsto make some tasty seasonal dishes.
Firstly, Class 4 (Years 5 and 6) followed our Cabbageresource to make vibrant 'build your own rainbow salad' with grated beetroot, cabbage and carrots. The pupils loved the seasonal salad and the zingy dressing made using yoghurt, mustard and olive oil. We hear many children came up for seconds!
The following day, Class 2 (Years 1 and 2) made our hearty leek and potato soup.One Year 2 pupil said that it was ‘The best soup I’ve ever tasted!’which we were thrilled to hear. They also linked their cooking class to another aspect of the curriculum, art, with pupils drawing leeks in oil pastels. Their class teacher also used our Leekresource during their guided reading session which was a great idea!
And finally, Class 3 (Years 3 and 4) made our Bombay Roastiesin their study of different foods from India. Following our Potatoresource, the children added chili, spices and a whole bulb of garlic to make this delicious dish that got their tastebuds tingling! The children loved the potatoes and thought they went incredibly well with the chicken korma and naan bread they enjoyed for lunch!
What a fantastic week at Lubenham! We are thrilled to hear about all the lessons that took place and the food all looked fantastic!
Raw Kale Salad
The pupils at Washingborough Academy learnt how to make raw kale salad with grated apples, sunflower seeds and a honey dressing during their most recent Learn Your Fruits and Veg lesson. Following our Kaleresource the pupils learnt that by rubbing the kale with salt it will soften the leaves! The children were also taught how to use a box grater and the super quick way of making a tasty dressing by shaking all the ingredients together in a jam jar. At the end of the lesson the children sat together to enjoy the tasty salad which they all loved-delicious!
Kale is in season right now but did you know that this wonderful green can be eaten raw or cooked! Try making a raw winter salad like the pupils at Washingborough but remember that the coarser, larger leaves will need boiling, steaming or sautéing or simply add into stir-fries, soups or curries!
After having made the salad, the teachers at Washingborough then incorporated kale into the pupil’s art studies, with the children creating kale pop art-what a great idea! We love hearing how teachers have thought of exciting ways of linking their pupil’s study of fruits and veg to other aspects of learning. We look forward to hearing more from Washingborough Academy soon!
Mushroom, spinach and lemon salad
During their most recent Learn Your Fruit and Vegetables lesson, Hythe Primary pupils followed our Mushroomresource to make button mushroom, spinach and lemon salad-a vibrant and refreshing dish. Mushrooms are fantastic raw as well as cooked and when thinly sliced they will soak up dressing like a sponge!
Following our recipe card, the children started off by chopping the mushrooms, spinach and parsley and tossing them together in a bowl. The pupils then mixed together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil and seasoning in jam jarsto make the zingy lemon dressing. The children particularly loved shaking the jars and then drizzling the dressing over the salad.
Their teacher has said that with each lesson, her pupils are getting braver with their food choices with many of the children wishing to try fruits and vegetables that they had never eaten before! One of her pupils, who loves every lesson said 'Can you bring in a whole bunch of ingredients and we can design our own recipes, like Jamie makes his up?'We were thrilled to hear this and we are so glad that the children at Hythe Primary are thoroughly enjoying the programme so far-we can’t wait to hear more!
This week, as part of our Learn Your Fruit and Vegetables programme, the pupils at Rhyl Primary School in Camden followed our Beetrootresource to make not one, but two seasonal dishes! First off was raw beetroot and pear salad. The pupils had great fun making this vibrant and colourful salad, coarsely grating the beetroot and pear, before adding lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and feta cheese-the children especially loved the feta!
Then the children continued with the extension recipes to make delicious chocolate and beetroot cake. It was a great success! The pupils learnt the importance of measuring ingredients exactly when baking a cake as well as how to whisk egg whites to stiff peaks!
Well done to all the pupils at Rhyl Primary- a successful lesson learning how to make two tasty dishes with beetroot!
Seasonal Shout Out
Our spotlight is on kale this month! Did you know that kale can’t be eaten until the weather is cold, because it needs to be exposed to the first winter’s frost? This allows some of the kale plant’s starch to be changed into sugar and stops the leaves from tasting bitter. Packed with Vitamin A, this leafy green can be steamed, boiled or sautéed and the younger, smaller leaves can even be eaten raw. Kale is delicious in soups, stews and pasta dishesor why not try wilting kale down with fried chili and garlic for a hearty dish with a bit of a kick!
Explore the different varieties of kale on offer at your local greengrocers or farmer’s market this month, looking for fresh, springy leaves. Kale comes in a range of colours, from dark green to deep red and the leaves can be smooth, serrated or curly!
Kale is such a versatile vegetable that we can’t wait to hear what tasty dishes you have been making with your children using kale recently! Why not make a simple pasta dish with kale, grating some Parmesan over the top, or be daring and make a delicious raw kale salad?
As the winter draws in, and the weather starts to turn chilly, be sure to try some super seasonal kale this month!
Leek and potato soup
Year 2 pupils at Dr.Radcliffes CofE Primary School in Oxford were shown how to make seasonal leek and potato soupduring their first Learn Your Fruit and Veglesson this week. Following our Leek card, all the children thoroughly enjoyed learning new cooking skills and the whole class sat together at the end of the lesson to taste the hearty, warming soup. They even made enough for the children to take in a big flask to their cross country competition the next day!
In linking their lesson to other parts of the curriculum, the pupils did a quiz on leeksas well as using their maths skillsto work out how to double the recipe to make enough for the whole class to enjoy-well done!
The Muddy Spud
A group of Year 5 and 6 children at Churchtown Primary School in Southport, one of our Learn Your Fruit and Veg pilot schools, have set up an enterprise project called the Muddy Spud. The project is designed to create links within the community, and encourage healthy eating using locally sourced fresh fruit and veg that are sold at prices that are considerably cheaper than the supermarkets, whilst giving the children the experience of running a business.
The veg packs are made up by the children and were originally sold from their market stall in the playgroundbut the group have now also introduced an ordering system that is gradually being rolled out across the school. So far the group have sold over 700kg of potatoes, 100kg of carrots and approximately 800 onions.
The success of the project so far has been due to the support that the school have had not only from parents but from Natalie Kershaw at Bill Rimmer’s Farm Shopwho as well as providing the vegetables has also been willing to share her knowledge.
The venture is just one of many recent changes that have seen the school strive to enhance its reputation as healthy school, such as the in house catering for school meals and the planning of a cafe that will be run by children to provide their school friends and parents with a healthy start to the day.
What a fantastic enterprise Churchtown-we can’t wait to hear more from the Muddy Spud!
School of the Month!
Congratulations to the pupils of Maldon Primary School in Essex for being our Learn Your Fruit & Veg November school of the month! In the past few weeks Maldon has gone above and beyond and taught not one, but FOUR fruit and vegetable lessons. They used the apple, pear, plum and celery card to make blackberry and apple crumble, poached pears, baked plums with vanillaand the biggest hit of all- celery and apple soup!For their Learn Your Fruit & Veg lesson, Year 5 pupils were divided into four groups to enable everyone to take a turn with the peeling, chopping, slicing and grating. When each dish was ready to eat, all the children sat down together and enjoyed the fruits of their labour. Despite feeling dubious about the celery and apple soup before tasting, but it turned out to be the most successful recipe with every child absolutely loving it! All of the groups asked to take the recipes home at the end of the day so they could share their skills with their families.
The kitchen garden at Maldon Primary is also going from strength to strength since the school put energy into developing an unloved front garden into something special last year. The pupils have enjoyed a bumper harvest from many of the class's crops, which included some wonderful peas, mange tout, potatoes, radishes, broad beans, spinach, beetroot andkohl rabi.Each class has their own raised bed, which they originally helped to build, and recently harvested their own crops to make radish taziki, potato salad, parsnip crisps and pea risotto! Maldon Primary is doing such a great job that they recently won the Maldon in Bloom Gold award for the best school garden-what a great effort!
Stuffed peppers with salsa
This week, pupils at Lubenham All Saints CE Primary learned all about PEPPERS as part of our Learn Your Fruit & Vegetables programme . They learnt how to make roasted red peppersstuffed with cherry tomatoes, garlic, baby capers, olives and basil. The children were also shown how to make a zingy salsausing peppers, tomatoes, coriander and lime. Peppers have a very sweet flavour which the children loved and they adored how colourful and crunchy the salsa looked and tasted. The pupils also tried capers, an unfamiliar ingredient which most of them enjoyed!
A few of the children explained how they usually don’t like peppers, as they had only ever eaten them raw, but they loved the very different taste and flavour of peppers when cooked.
Furthermore, Lubenham All Saints linked their study on peppers to another aspect of the curriculum, Art, with Key Stage 1 pupils making observational drawings of peppersduring their latest art club lesson. Well done Lubenham, keep up the great work!
St.Paul's pupils visit Jamie's Italian
As part of the IPCFood Unit, Year 2 pupils from our KGP pilot school, St.Paul’s in Whitechapel recently took a trip to theirlocal Jamie’s Italian!Here the children were treated to a masterclass in how to prepare fresh pasta from scratch.The pupils were shown how to make and roll fresh pasta dough before being taught how to stuff and twist the squares of pasta into tasty tortellini! The children were also delighted by a display of fresh, seasonal vegetablesthat included bright red peppers, stripy squash and a huge cabbage! The children were amazed by how vegetables can come is such a variety of colours, shapes and sizes and filled in worksheets using their new knowledge.
Such hands-on activities are a vital aspect of the IPC learning process for children. By touching and smelling the vegetables and rolling the pasta into shapes, the pupils at St.Paul’s were stimulated in an environment other than the classroom-and all whilst learning how to make a tasty meal from scratch!
After such a busy morning the children enjoyed a rewarding bowl of delicious fresh pasta for lunch-what a great trip St.Paul’s!
National Roast Dinner Day
Next Wednesday 20th November, the Food For Life Partnership invites all their schools and caterers to participate in National Roast Dinner Dayand to enjoy a delicious lunch that celebrates fresh, local and seasonal produce. Pupils, teachers, parents and the local community are all invited to come together and enjoy a locally sourced or organic roast dinner followed by a seasonal dessert. National Roast Dinner Day allows schools to showcase the quality of their catering and to demonstrate how a healthy and nutritious lunch can sustain a child’s learning throughout the day. By highlighting the wonderful produce provided and encouraging whole schools to enjoy a meal together, the Food For Life Partnership aims to increase the number of pupils eating a freshly prepared, healthy and filling school meal each day.
The Food For Life Partnership is hoping to get as many schools as possible to blog about their Roast Dinner Day and to reveal how it has encouraged them to engage with the local community. Prizes will be awarded to the best blogsand we can’t wait to see how all of the schools celebrate Roast Dinner Day this year! #roastdinnerday
Cookery news from Colleton
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Colleton Primary, one of our KGP pilot schools, pupils recently helped to prepare a range of tasty treats for both children and staff to enjoy. As part of the whole school celebration day, the main hall was set up as a large cookery preparation area with the children working in groups of 4 to 5 to make homemade snackssuch as cheese and parsley straws and scones. Following one of our lesson plans, Foundation Stage pupils aged 4-5learnt how to make their own sandwiches to enjoy at the lunch and afternoon tea party. They could choose their own fillings from cheese, ham or jam and were shown how to use spreading knives and table knives correctly.
We are thrilled to hear of so many children getting involved in the school celebrations, whilst learning new cooking skillsand preparing some delicious foodat the same time!
Keep up the great work Colleton!
Tomato and basil bruschetta
October was a great month for the pupils at Hythe Primary, who recently learnt how to make tomato and basil bruschettausing red, orange and yellow tomatoes! After chopping up and seasoning the tomatoes, the children toasted ciabatta and rubbed each slice with a clove of garlic and a little olive oil. After spooning over the tomatoes, the pupils drizzled the bruschetta with olive oil and basil leaves and then tucked in! One pupil said “That was definitely the best recipe so far!” and the teachers said it made the classroom smell delicious!
The pupils are participating in our Learn Your Fruit and Veg programme as part of their 'Golden Time' each month and we are thrilled to hear that many of the children have been making the recipes at home. The pupils are thoroughly enjoying the lessons so far and at the same time learning how to make simple yet delicious recipes using fruit and veg- keep up the great work!
Simple green salad with jam jar dressings
The new term is off to a great start at St. Paul's Whitechapel CE Primary Schoolas they begin their journey as one of the newest pilot schools for Jamie Oliver's Kitchen Garden Project. The Tower Hamlets school will be following our hands-on food education curriculum, inspiring children across year groups with kitchen and garden based learning.
Yesterday, the Year 5 pupils had their first cooking lesson ‘How to Taste’. The pupils prepared a delicious simple green salad with fresh lettuce and chicory. The children were encouraged to use all their senses to think of words to describe the salad leaves before washing, spinning and drying the leaves. The children then made fresh and super quickjam jar dressingsto toss with the salad before eating. The four jam jar dressings are aimed at letting the children explore the different tastes of salty, sour, sweet and bitter with the children using yoghurt, lemon, balsamic vinegar, mustard and olive oil. The children were also shown the importance of how to season food properly and they loved shaking the jars to mix the dressings!
We heard that the children loved the lesson, and were eager to show their parents at the end of the day. Word on the street is that a number of children were caught munching on leftover salad from zip lock bags as they waited to be picked up! That definitely beats a take away on the way home!
The dressings were such a hit that St Paul's is planning to serve them on their salad bar in the canteen today. Well done, St. Paul's!
Stay tuned for more stories from Tower Hamlets.
As part of their Learn Your Fruit and Veg lessons, the pupils of St Ann's CE Primary School in Rainhill recently made vibrant purple smoothiesusing frozen blueberries, ripe pears and fresh apple juice. As they are learning about Roald Dahl this term, they incorporated the lesson into their literacy study of Charlie and the Chocolate Factorywith the children experimenting to see if they would turn purple like Violet! Before tasting the smoothies, the pupils created character profiles and role-played the scene in the book where Violet turns violet. What a fantastic way of incorporating fruits and vegetables into the curriculum-and the delicious smoothies were the perfect reward for the children’s hard work!
Baked Plums with Vanilla
A big well done to the pupils of St.Andrews Church of England Primary School in Cheltenham, who recently tried their hand at baking juicy ripe plums using a recipe from our ‘Learn Your Fruit and Vegetables programme.’ After removing the stones, the children cooked the plums with orange, vanilla and golden caster sugarto create a deliciously autumnal dish. Served with yoghurtthe children enjoyed it as a simple dessert-but it would also make a great breakfast!
If you’re looking to cook up something special for Halloween with the kids, the vibrantly coloured squash(and its cousin the pumpkin) are great bets. The family of winter squashes is enormous with hundreds of varieties, ranging from small striped squashes the size of your hand, togreen, orange and even big blue ones that can sometimes weigh hundreds of kilos! Also, did you know that although we call squash a vegetable, it’s technically a fruit because we eat the part that contains the seeds!
Make sure you check your local farmer's marketor green grocers this month and you are bound to see squashes of all shapes and colours. Choose squash that feels heavy for its size and is free from blemishes or squishy patches. When you cook with squash there’s no need to peel it as you can eat the skin. Simply halve it, scoop out the seeds and chop it into chunks, then roast it and add it to a warm winter salad or throw it into curries, stews or soups. Or why not simply roast the seeds and eat them as a snack!
Learn Your Fruit and Veg Programme
It has been one month since the launch of our Learn Your Fruit and Vegetable Programmefor the 2013-2014 school year and we are thrilled with the feedback we have received so far! This year the programme has been extended to 100 schools across the country, with the continued aim to introduce school children to fresh, seasonal produce from an early age and to teach pupils how to make simple and nutritious meals using fruit and veg.
Having fine-tuned our resources from last year's feedback, we now provide our schools with 32 different fresh fruit and vegetable cards that not only contain seasonal recipes, but provide fun facts and engaging activities that link the lesson to other curriculum objectives such as science and literacy. The children have loved getting stuck in to each class; smelling, touching and tasting fresh produce, whilst learning how to prepare a simple recipe from scratch. Some of the most popular dishes so far have been baked plums with yoghurt and apple and watercress salad. Keep up the good work!
School of the Month!
Congratulations to the pupils of Takely Primaryin Essex, one of our Learn Your Fruit and Veg pilot schools, who are September’s School of the Month! We received a whopping 74 surveys filled with excellent responses and wonderful questions for Jamie. This month the children learned all about plums and sweet corn,preparing baked plums with vanillaand corn salsa. We were also sent many fantastic photos of the pupils cooking the recipes as well as enjoying the final results! Well done, Takely!
Learn to Grow and Cook with Us!
Not sure how to introduce cooking into your school day? Really want to start a school veg garden but just don’t know where to begin? Well we’re excited to announce that the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation has teamed up with the RHSCampaign for School Gardening to bring primary school teachers a very special cooking and growing course. And with cooking and growing going on the school curriculum in England from September 2014, there couldn’t really be a more perfect time to get involved!
The Learn to Grow and Cook course will teach you how to bring food education to life at your school, by integrating hands-on growing and cooking lessons into the school day, helping you to complete the journey ‘from seed to plate’ with the children. By the end of the course, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge needed to give your children the invaluable experience of tasting and preparing produce they have grown, equipping them with essential skills that will last a lifetime.
The two-day course covers everything you need to know to get the kids cooking and growing. An autumn planting, tasting and cooking day in October will be followed by a second day in March, which will enable you to get your garden into production for the spring and summer months. Garden sessions will be complemented by practical sessions in the school kitchen, giving you the knowledge, confidence and skills to get the best from your school produce, whilst creating a memorable, skills-based learning experience for your pupils. In addition to this, you’ll leave us with your very own pack of carefully-developed Kitchen Garden Project recipes and teaching resources, to help you get stuck into cooking simple, seasonal recipes at school.
The courses will be held on 8th October 2013 and 12th March 2014, in Greenwich (London). We can’t wait to get started! Sign up now to guarantee your place on the course; spaces are limited, and we’d love to see some of our Kitchen Garden Project supporters there. It’s set to be a brilliant couple of days!
Sugar snap peas are really, heavily in season at the moment. And there really are few vegetables which could be deemed more delicious!
Sweet, delightfully crunchy, vibrant green and so versatile.
Whether you decide to steam them lightly (maintaining a slight crunch), or to eat them raw with some sumptuous dips, be sure to take advantage of them whilst they’re in season. Why not get the kids de-stringing them for you?! Do this by ripping off the tip and dragging down the green string until it comes off in your hand; this makes the sugar snap more tender and rewarding to eat. Or you could get them making a deliciously easy, yoghurty dip to accompany a handful of raw sugar snaps - a much healthier alternative to crisps.
Whatever you choose to do with them, enjoy them whilst they're around. Sugar Snaps or Sugar Cane? The Snaps win for us!
End of Term Thank-Yous
Schools have now broken up for the summer holidays, and our first year of testing our Learn Your Fruit and Veg Programme has officially come to an end.
It’s been a really amazing year, and we want to thank our pilot schools for all their invaluable feedback. We’ve got another pilot year ahead of us, where we’ll be testing out our new and improved resources on 100 new primary schools, which should help us to fine-tune our resources all ready for national rollout when cooking comes back onto the curriculum in September 2014.
But – on a bit of a nostalgic note – here’s some of the feedback we’ve received over the last 12 months:
“There have been so many 'wow' moments during this project! It really has been so exciting - the children love it and even though they claim they don't like many of the ingredients, once they have made and tasted the food they love them! Thank you so very much”.
Lisa Shaw, Fossdene Primary School, London
“The children have thoroughly enjoyed the programme. Most of our children do not have the opportunity to cook at home and this has given them that opportunity. They have learned about lots of different fruits and vegetables and have tasted foods which they might not have had the chance to taste if not for this project.”
Hallford Primary School, London
“Jamie has inspired me to explore with my cooking and I have learnt lots of new things like how many types of apples grow all over the world.”
Rosie, Lubenham All Saints C of E Primary School, Leicestershire
“The impact on our children has been a greater interest in food, healthy living and cooking. A wonderful experience!”
Hallford Primary School, London
A big thank you to all our pilot schools on both the Kitchen Garden Project and Learn your Fruit and Veg Programme, and we can’t wait to get stuck into next term’s resources with you all!
The School Food Plan
We’re excited to announce that the government-backed School Food Plan has now been revealed, taking us one step further in our battle to improve the futures of our children, through healthy eating.
Subjects covered in the report include the problems with packed lunches, free school meals, upping school meal take-up, breakfast clubs and the importance of cooking lessons. All raise some really important points, which we all need to take on board and work with.
The report is definitely worth a read. Even if you only have the time to read the summarised version, or to watch the short summary video, getting up to speed with what the plan proposes really will help fill in the gaps.
Jamie says, "School food has come a long way since my original campaign, but more needs to be done to improve standards and teach kids about food. We can't underestimate the importance of investing in our children's health and productivity at school.
Getting cooking on the curriculum until the age of 14 and encouraging kids to eat school food are big steps, and we really need to get behind school cooks and head teachers to improve school food. I know how much energy and passion has gone into this plan. Now it has to deliver on its promises and make sure no schools are left behind - and that responsibility sits with this government."
So here’s to the future of our children! Let’s work together to really make this School Food Plan happen.
Sign up for our Fruit and Veg Programme Now!
We are incredibly excited to announce that we are expanding our Fruit and Veg Programme in September 2013! We have taken in all the brilliant feedback from our pilot schools, developing and expanding to create an even more amazing programme for next year.
This year our programme consisted of 10 fresh fruit and vegetable classes, delivered once a month in 25 primary schools. Schools used our resources and a box of produce from Abel & Cole to expose children to seasonal produce, assembling simple recipes in classrooms and linking cooking activities with curriculum learning. The programme introduces children to fresh produce in an exciting and interactive way, enabling them to start cooking from an early age, helping them to understand where fruit and veg come from, and why they’re so good for us. All the veg cards contain fun facts and engaging activities, many of which link strongly to curriculum objectives. And next year we are thrilled to announce that our resource will be even bigger, even more versatile and even better!
We have extended our resource to now cover 32 different fresh fruits and vegetables, allowing teachers to choose from a range of seasonal ingredients and recipes for their class! Our resources have been tweaked and refined, making sure that we are providing as much valuable information on the page as possible! We also are encouraging schools to use produce from their gardens or their local communities to get involved.
We want to grow the programme and get 100 new schools involved beginning in September! If this sounds like something your school would be interested in, email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We’re into the final month of the school year: it’s July, so the Fruit and Veg Programme is focussing on beautifully seasonal strawberries and raspberries!
And the good news is that this year we’ve been blessed with a bumper crop of strawberries. Do you remember earlier in the year, when everyone was moaning about the rain and chilly weather? Well it turns out that that’s exactly why we’ve got such plump, sweet, juicy strawberries growing in the UK right now. The cooler weather meant that the fruits developed later, so the plants put all their energy into growing strong and resilient. Then, when they finally got round to producing their strawberries, they created SuperStrawbs! Let’s hope all the children at our pilot schools enjoy cooking with them: this month, they’re going to be making Berries with Yoghurt, Honey and Mint. The perfect recipe to take home and cook again for their families over the summer holidays!
Fun Fact: did you know that each strawberry has a whopping average of 200 seeds; each is a unique piece of artwork, really! And around 28,000 kilograms of strawberries are eaten at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships each year. Lucky we’ve had such an abundant crop to help feed the Murray-Mania!
Claiming More Green Space
Rotherfield Primary School, our second KGP pilot school, has just won a two year campaign for use of park land across the street from their school. Their new green space is really exciting for the children, giving them a much bigger play space, helping them to get more fresh air and to really stretch their legs at break-time!
The big ‘ribbon cutting day’ was celebrated in style. Parents, governors and even the Mayor of Islington attended the event, and the children gave each and every one of them a guided tour of the school, including both their kitchen and their garden. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, honoured guests filed into the dining room for a concert by the school choir and a very spoiling lunch prepared by the children in the Kitchen Garden Project.
The food was spectacular! The menu included Pea and Mint Soup, Smashed Broad Bean and Pea Crostini, a gorgeous Evolution Tomato Salad, and a scrumptious Smoked Mackerel Pate, all prepared by children from scratch! There was also a warming homemade Apple and Blackberry Crumble to top off the whole meal. The guests were all bowled over, and the teachers and children all said how much fun they’d had cooking it. All of the peas were individually podded by the children in shifts, for the soup and the crostini and all that love and care really made a difference to the flavour!
Everyone was really impressed by the knowledge and skills of the children – and the fact that they really did love the Smoked Mackerel, which lots of adults assume is a bit too strong a flavour for kids to enjoy!
Learning to cook, and really getting to understand the ingredients they’re growing and cooking has changed the way that the children at Rotherfield think about food and we are so proud to see how the project has developed over the year.
Big love to Rotherfield Primary, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future!
Celebrating Food Revolution Day 2013
Food Revolution Day is a single day created by Jamie and his foundations to celebrate and campaign for better food. It’s a day where we ask people from all around the world to share their passion for food, really bringing food to life and proving the power of essential cooking skills and the ability they have to transform lives.
The funds raised on Food Revolution Day 2012 helped us develop and launch our brilliant Fruit and Veg Programme, enabling us to pilot in 25 primary schools, introducing over 1000 children to fresh fruit and veg every month! Food Revolution Day is a huge day for us, and the community campaigning really does make a massive difference.
This year’s second annual Food Revolution Day was even bigger and better than the last, with over 1,260 activities going on in homes, schools, workplaces and communities, across 660 cities and 74 countries.
Jamie’s Kitchen Garden Project was deeply involved in the action. All of our pilot schools got involved, sharing their food knowledge and cooking skills with others and championing the day!
Orford Primary School, our first ever Kitchen Garden Project school, hosted their second annual Orford Food Revolution Day Market. The community of Orford all came together to create a foodie haven in the centre of town, celebrating the local food culture while raising money for food education. The primary school children even developed a new food product to sell for the occasion: their very own Strawberry Jam! The jam now accompanies their Tomato Sauce on the shelves of local shops and markets. All proceeds from the sale of both products benefit their Kitchen Garden Project. If you find yourself in Suffolk, be sure to pick up a few jars! Great job, Orford!
In London, 60 children from Rotherfield Primary School and St. Paul’s Whitechapel, both involved in Jamie’s Kitchen Garden Project, joined Jamie at the big Food Rev Day street party on Westland Place. The children made their very own pizzas from scratch, topping them with beautiful, seasonal ingredients. They then took their new cheffy skills back to school to encourage their friends and families to get excited about cooking.
It was a really great day, and we’re already excited about next year’s celebrations. Word on the street, it’s going to be even bigger and better than before!
If your school did something to celebrate be sure to let us know, sharing your pictures and stories with us on facebook or by emailing FRD@jamieoliver.com . Big love to everyone who got involved by joining the Revolution!
Greek Kebabs at Rotherfield
This week at Rotherfield Primary School the children assembled and grilled Greek Vegetable Kebabs in the Kitchen Classroom. Many of the children had never tried Haloumi cheese before and were interested to see that it could be grilled without melting.
The recipe was especially popular with the year 4s, many of which said it was the best recipe they have learned yet!
Jake said, "This is my favourite recipe because the pepper bursts juice into your mouth, the haloumi cheese melts as it goes down your throat, and the tomatoes add that extra burst of flavour". Sounds like a winner!
TV Chefs in the Making
Washingborough Academy in Lincolnshire, one of our 25 brilliant Fruit & Veg Programme pilot schools, has mastered the art of cooking for television. They have been recording their Fruit & Veg lessons for YouTube, sharing their learning with anyone who wants to tune in! We’ve had great fun watching how much the children enjoy their fruit & veg classes, seeing how the magic of food really captivates them, and how amazingly the teachers are able to explain all the different produce they’re using to create each of the recipes.
The videos show how much teamwork is needed in cooking – especially when the kids make the Winter Coleslaw, and everyone is needed to scrub in with a bit of the muscle-building veggie grating! And each clip proves that you don’t need a fully-equipped kitchen to be able to cook; you can whip up some really delicious recipes whilst just sitting in the classroom!
The children have tasted all sorts of foods which they’d never tasted before, including beetroot, watercress, blue cheese and all different spices. Teacher Julia Newton told us that, “The boxes have inspired the children to be more adventurous with the food they eat and have encouraged them to prepare and cook food themselves”. Inspiring kids to cook fresh, healthy meals both at school and at home with their families is definitely one of our key aims, so that’s brilliant to hear!
And the children have become really good at tasting and fine-tuning flavours in their recipes, just like real chefs. We think Jamie’s Food Tube has got some competition! Tune in to Washingborough’s YouTube channel to stay up to date with their latest cooking adventures!
SPINACH: Popeye Returns!
Spinach is often completely overlooked, known for being healthy and a chore for children to eat. This month, though, it was the star of our food education boxes, and all 25 schools had a chance to get excited about spinach. You’d be surprised by how many of the children had never even tried spinach before and how many assumed they’d completely hate it because it’s all green and leafy! The good news is that most of the children were proved wrong and our Baby Spinach, Mint and Feta Salad was a winner!
At Dr Radcliffe’s C of E Primary School in Oxfordshire only 1 child out of the class of 15 had ever tried spinach before, and all but 1 of the class decided to taste the salad they made together in the classroom. The verdict was a big fat thumbs up! But, that’s not even the best bit! Now, following popular demand, Dr Radcliffe’s has introduced our Baby Spinach, Mint and Feta Salad to their lunchtime school salad bar, and have begun to grow spinach in their polytunnel. An exciting result all-round for this month’s veg card!
The class at Hallford Primary School in London also gave us some brilliant spinach feedback. Their teacher decided to play a clip from Popeye before teaching about spinach, and the kids were completely enraptured (understandably)! They then linked the spinach lesson with their science learning, planning a science experiment to understand which conditions spinach would grow best under. The children were then encouraged to get a bit creative with their salad-making, and were asked to present their salads in the most artistic & delicious way possible! Spinach has now zoomed to the top of their ‘favourite veg lesson’ chart! Good choice, chefs!
This week the children at Rotherfield Primary School learned how to prepare spectacular Salmon Parcels with Basil Pesto and Green Beans. The children worked together to make their own pesto from scratch, bashing basil and other ingredients in a pestle and mortar. They then assembled parcels with green beans, salmon fillets and a dollop of pesto and popped them in the oven to bake.
While they waited for the meal to cook the children pepared simple new potatoes and set the table to all sit down together. The lesson was a winner and all the children reported back that they loved the salmon!
Awesome Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni
February was off to a delayed start in Orford's kitchen due to snow in Suffolk, so we were a bit behind with each group. The menu for the older children was Awesome Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni, served with homemade onion bread and little gem salad. The pupils finished the meal with handmade bakewell tarts. Lots of skills to use in this lesson, including making bread AND pastry, sweating onions, piping filling for the cannelloni and making frangipane. It's a good thing the pupils are kitchen pros!
When the children were asked what they learned from the lesson here is what they said:
Cannelloni tubes are delicate!
Homemade food tastes nicer than bought!
Put the pan on the right hob or you will be there all day!
Have a firm but light touch whilst spreading frangipane.
An excellent learning experience in the kitchen!
All about Carrots at Rotherfield
Did you know that when carrots were first grown,they weren't orange at all, they were purple! You can also get yellow, pink, white, red and even black carrots too!
In the UK, the average person eats 100 carrots a year!
This week the junior chefs at Rotherfield Primary School learned all about carrots while preparing Crunchy Carrot Pittas and Baked Carrots in a bag in the kitchen classroom. They tried different coloured carrots and compared the difference in texture and taste of raw crunchy carrots and soft baked carrots.
We know that it's just an old wives tale that carrots help you see in the dark, but the pupils ate them up anyway to test if the theory was true.
CABBAGE Patch Kids
This month’s seasonal veg card is all about RED CABBAGE. Cabbage has a bit of a bad rep these days. Children tend to think of that overcooked gloop you can sometimes be served, but when cabbage is done right, it completely rocks. There are so many different varieties you can try, so even if you don’t like one type, you might love another!
Lots of people are familiar with eating hot red cabbage dishes with apples or wine at Christmas time, but this month we’ve sent the primary schools piloting our Fruit and Veg Programme the recipe for a non-cook Winter Coleslaw. This recipe is an absolute cracker, filled with bright colours and lots of flavour. It’s a bang up way to get a head start on your 5 a day! It’s filled with grated red cabbage, red onion, and two deliciously seasonal, grated root vegetables: parsnips and carrots. And a delicious dressing too, of course.
The children in our pilot schools loved this salad and sent us loads of positive feedback, even though some concluded that all that grating was a bit too tiring…
At Corpus Christi RC Primary School in Oldham, every single one of the children tried the Coleslaw even though they were a bit sceptical to begin with because of all the strange ingredients they’d never tried raw. The class put their heads together and decided to serve the coleslaw on crispy French bread, which proved really delicious and very popular. Yum!
At Lubenham All Saints C of E Primary School in Leicestershire, a whopping 9 children had never tried any type of coleslaw before, but by the end of the session, 17 of them wanted to eat it again (and again…and again!). The kids at the Treehouse School in Oxfordshire ate their coleslaw with scrumptious, hot jacket potatoes and braised lentils as part of their school lunch! Great idea!
It’s brilliant to see how schools are incorporating the recipes from their lessons into their school meals, and using their own creativity to pair different foods and make changes. Hearing all this amazing feedback really is exciting, and we can’t wait for more schools to get involved in the programme! If your school is interested in getting involved next year, email us at email@example.com!
BEETROOT for Christmas
December is such an exciting month! Everything buzzes in the lead-up to Christmas holidays, and children can’t get enough. There’s a huge spotlight on food over the holidays. Food brings families, friends and communities together and we love the chance to celebrate that!
With Mince Pies, Christmas Pud, Yule Logs, Brandy Butter, the food at Christmas time can be a bit indulgent, (though everyone needs a treat now and then, especially if it’s homemade)! This month’s star vegetable showcased the red and green of the season in a whole new light. Instead of sweets and treats, this month was all about gorgeous, seasonal BEETROOT. Children prepared a beautiful red and green Raw Beetroot salad, made with beetroots, olive oil, lemon, parsley and feta.
Getting kids to try beetroot RAW (something that few adults have even tasted) and to taste salty, creamy feta (which has quite a sharp flavour) seems like a no mean feat. But the flavours come together brilliantly in this dish, and we couldn’t wait to see what the young chefs at our pilot schools thought.
At Fossdene Primary School in London, only 4 children out of a class of 20 had even tried beetroot before. Lots of the pupils felt a bit put off by its strange colour, but after trying the beetroot salad they all LOVED it. One Fossdene teacher gave us the loveliest feedback; “There have been so many ‘wow’ moments during this project! It really has been so exciting – the children love it and even though they claim they don’t like many of the ingredients, once they have made and tasted the food, they love them!”
The kids at Hallford Primary School in London also enjoyed the recipe, and got a bit arty with their beetroot lesson. They’ve been studying the paintings of Kandinsky in Art, so the children cut their beetroot in half and looked at the amazing ring-patterns they found, before painting their own, beetroot-meets-Kandinsky style paintings to cover the walls of the classroom! None of the children had ever tried beetroot before, though 15 out of 15 of them now want to have it on their plates more often!
Beets come in a whole variety of colours- from white and yellow to a vivid candy striped variety. As Jamie says, “Just imagine putting a damn good roast on the table, or a fantastic steak with crispy potatoes, and then bringing out something unexpected like roast beetroot- that’s how you get your friends talking and how you can introduce them to new favourites! You can turn beets into soup, boil and dress them, roast, steam or stir-fry them, or use them in salads. So don’t read this and then do nothing about it- make beets a part of your life!”
It's Raining APPLES
APPLES were the stars of the Food Education Box this month, and though most children had tried apples before, NOW was their time to shine. The children made an Apple and Watercress Salad. The recipe is made up of watercress, apples, pumpkin seeds and blue cheese with a delicious, yoghurt dressing.
The teachers at the Grange Primary School told us that the recipe lesson worked perfectly with their current literacy lessons, which have been based on instructional texts. The children were able to identify the key features of instructions during the lesson, consolidating their learning “perfectly”.
We also had some really useful feedback from some of our little chefs at Lubenham All Saints Primary School (Leicestershire):
“I loved the apple and watercress salad! I loved the way that the flavours followed after each other. I learnt how to make a new dressing and the blue cheese flavour was really interesting. I will definitely make it again at home. Jamie has inspired me to explore with my cooking and I have learnt lots of new things like how many types of apples grow all over the world.” Rosie
“I really enjoyed cooking and learnt that there are over 7,000 apple varieties in the world. It was delicious and the colours all went together. I liked the blue cheese a lot. The only bit I didn’t like was the texture of the pumpkin seeds as they were a bit too crunchy. I like cooking and trying out new things especially pasta dishes. I think that there should a bit less dressing.”Alice
The Treehouse School in Oxfordshire decided to make a proper week of their apple celebrations, with lots of apple related activities, including inviting in an expert apple juicer, apple picking, and making special toffee apples for bonfire night. It helped the children to really understand quite how versatile an apple is. Check out the lovely pics on our facebook page!
Apple and Blackberry Crumble
Crumble is a delicious old-school dessert- evreryone loves it and it's a great way to celebrate the beautiful fruit we grow here in the UK. It's super-simple to make the topping, then you can go for it with pretty much any sort of thing you can think of! This week the pupils at Rotherfield Primary School made their first ever crumble using lovely apples and blackberries with a simple hazlenut topping.
The pupils loved weighing all of the different ingredients, and had some good knife skills practice as they cut down the apple for their crumble. They learned that apples are the most commonly eaten fruit in the UK and that there are over 1,200 different kinds growing in this country alone!
For more images of the cooking and growing at Rotherfield Primary School check out our facebook page !
All about Apples
Autumn is in full swing in our Kitchen Gardens, bringing with it an abundance of hearty produce. Winter squashes and colourful pumpkins, dark leafy greens like kale and winter spinach, root vegetables like parsnips and beetroot, and the transition from summer berries to apples and pears all are sure signs that it's time to jumper up and get harvesting!
One of our favourite ingredients for this time of year is the humble apple. In honour of National Apple Day last weekend we thought we would share with you some of our favourite facts about this old lunchbox staple.
Apples are one of the most commonly eaten fruits in the UK. There are over 1200 different kinds growing, but sadly it can be hard to find them all as growers tend to concentrate on a select few varieties for sale in supermarkets. Work is being done, however, to bring more of a variety into the shops, so the next time you’re at a supermarket make sure you try a new kind. Or, better still, support your local farmers’ market and see what kinds they have on offer.
Most British apples come from the south-east of England where apple trees are abundant. This time of year many farms will open up to allow families to come apple picking- use the internet to find a pick your own near you!
Apples are delicious with both sweet and savoury flavours: think about a delicious apple crumble or a side of apple sauce with your pork roast. Jamie loves using them in salads: sliced into matchsticks or cut paper thin and tossed with watercress, blue cheese and nuts.Some apples are best eaten raw and others are best for cooking, cider making, or even pickling.Cooking apples are usually larger than eating apples. You don’t eat them raw as they are too sour, and often when you cook with them they need to be sweetened with sugar or honey. They’re used for baking because they hold their shape better.
We thought we would try something different and share updates from Orford's kitchen in their own words! So here's a bit about the Autumn term from Kate.
Over the last couple of weeks the little ones in reception and year 1 have been making Baked Apples and Stuffed Peppers. We discussed where apples grow and all the different types and flavours. We then chatted about all the different spices we needed to use and had a good sniff! The children enjoyed stuffing the spicey mixture into the hole where the core once was in the apple.
When we made the Stuffed Peppers there were lots of different flavours to talk about - Basil, olives, capers, garlic, tomatoes. Most were sceptical of the capers but lots seemed to like olives. We wrapped both of these dishes up in tin foil and the children took them home to cook. Parents loved the lovely additions to their dinners!
Class 2 have been making homemade fish fingers, tartare sauce, potato salad, minted peas and the baked apples! The have really enjoyed the fish fingers and absolutely loved the process of flour, egg, breadcrumbs. It was really fun and messy! We used all kinds of fish like cod, plaice, and even smoked haddock. We talked about protein in fish, and it being one element from the "balanced plate". We discussed why protein is important and what other foods contain protein. Whilst making the tartare sauce I gave them all a try of the cornichons and capers and then we all had a taste to see if the sauce needed more lemon. We used potatoes and herbs from our garden for the potato salad, and the baked apples were popular as dessert.
Autumn has been busy and a bit wet in Orford! A team of parents, children and local residents helped to keep the garden and polytunnel watered during the summer holidays, so most of the crops were looking brilliant when they got back to school. The only real failure was the Brussels sprouts, which had been completely destroyed by Cabbage White caterpillars. The weeds had grown well too, but the expert gardeners from Year 1 to Year 6 very efficiently cleared the beds to they could see their crops.
The gardening group of pupils was particularly excited one Wednesday in September when they were able to supply most of Kate's shopping list of ingredeints for the cooking groups. They made up their very own 'Veg Box' containing potatoes, carrots, courgette, onions, garlic, plums and herbs. THis is what growing, cooking and eating are all about!
Into October the Orford pupils have been looking at all sorts of seeds and thinking about different ways they are dispersed. They are also saving seeds for next year. They washed the pulp off tomato seeds and dried them carefully, ready to plant for future crops of tomatoes!
PEARing up Flavours!
Pears are very much in the limelight right now! Not only are they juicy and delicious, but they’re smack-bam in season in the UK, falling off the trees, providing inspiration for any keen cook. So, I bet you can guess what this month’s ingredient of choice is for the pilot schools on our Fruit and Veg Programme: PEARS!
Our recipe was the Pear Crunch Salad. ‘Pears in a salad?’ we hear you ask! Well, we knew that most of the children would have eaten pears before, and would know they’re usually eaten in a fruit salad or crumble, or just on their own, so we decided to get a bit creative this month, showcasing pears in a savoury environment.
Pairing sweet pears with strong cheese is one of Jamie’s favourite ways to use them, so we decided to go for it. The Pear Crunch Salad is made up of a whole heap of delicious ingredients: pear, watercress, chicory, olive oil, lemon, and blue cheese (our schools used Stilton). It was a bit of a risk, using such powerful ingredients, but we knew that would give the kids lots to talk about. Even if they didn’t end up liking the blue cheese or chicory, we hoped they would get involved, try something new, and describe the complex flavours they tasted.
The kids at Chase Side Primary School really loved the recipe. One teacher fed back to us that, “The pear and cheese salad was delicious-- everyone was desperate to try it! This recipe encouraged the children to choose foods they haven’t tried before – a huge success, thank you.” Getting young kids inspired and excited about tasting new, fresh and healthy foods was exactly what we were hoping to do through this Programme – good job Chase Side!
The kids at Grange Primary School were equally brave. We were told that the children were very wary of trying ‘mouldy cheese’, but after they had such a great time making the salad and eating it, ‘they returned to their class to tell everyone how fantastic blue cheese tastes!’ Being brave really does pay off sometimes!
The teachers at Lubenham All Saints C of E Primary School decided to spread the love and get more children involved in the programme. The kids in Reception had a tasting of all sorts of different pears, whilst the Year 3 / 4 teacher devised a fun Pear Quiz for the class to do. We LOVE the idea of getting more of the kids involved and spreading the resources as far as possible – nice work. Some of our other pilot schools set pear homework for the children, printed out recipes for each of the children to take home, and linked in some key health & safety and hygiene lessons.
Positive Steps School in Shellingford is now going to be buying a pear tree for their Nursery garden, following such positive feedback from the children! “We had a blast this month, we were a little sceptical... stinking cheese, watercress and chicory, would they eat it??? We were amazed, they all tucked into a bowl, after rolling up their sleeves washing the salad leaves, crumbling the cheese, squeezing the lemon, all with their hands. It was delicious.” -Positive Steps School
Sounds like the children agree with Jamie, pearing sweet pears with strong cheese is the way to go!
The pupils from Orford got a taste of food service this month at The Froize, a local Orford restaurant, where they took part in a fringe event for the Aldeburgh Food Festival. The children helped to take drink orders along with starters and pudding orders. They also cleared tables. They absolutely loved it and somewhere saying they would like to work there when they are older. They all joined in and took real pride in serving.
They have also been busy selling the pasta sauce that they developed back in May for Food Revolution Day. So far they have sold over 156 jars in over 5 different local delis and shops! All of the profits from the sauce and £5 per head at The Froize have gone back into funding ingredients for the kitchen garden project at Orford.
Both are an example of real life skills coming to life through the kitchen garden project and we are incredibly proud of the pupils’ hard work!
Our second pilot program is up and cooking! Rotherfield Primary School has begin to deliver classes in their brand new kitchen classroom, and the pupils are loving it!
Pupils in years three, four and five now have 90 minute sessions in the kitchen every other week. The classes are delivered by a group of classroom teachers and teaching assistants, newly trained by the Jamie Team. They began the school year by introducing the Kitchen Garden Project while working together to make an Evolution Tomato Salad. The pupils sat down to eat the salad and sop up the juices with fresh focaccia made by the teachers. More than one of the pupils proudly announced that these were the first tomatoes they had ever eaten.
The second time the children were in the classroom they got down to basics, each making their own cheese and tomato sandwich and working together on a nice and simple fruit platter. They are now in the midst of their third cycle of classes, where they have moved on to baked potatoes with herby mackerel pate and a simple green salad to use the last of their garden's salad greens.
We will be sharing the progress of Rotherfield Primary School throughout the year, so check back soon for more stories from the kitchen or the garden!
The kids are back in school, and our Fruit and Veg Programme has officially LAUNCHED. Each month, our 25 pilot primary schools will be teaching their kids about various seasonal fruit and veg using our resources, and we can’t wait to hear their feedback.
This month’s card – filled with fun facts, nutritional info, activities and a recipe – is all about PLUMS. We love a good plum, and seeing as they’re in season right this minute, now is the perfect time to try them! Plums are delicious stewed, baked into a pudding, reduced into sticky jam or cut into slices and eaten raw. The children made Spiced Plums with Yoghurt in their classrooms, simply mixing plums with fragrant mixed spice and serving them with runny honey and yoghurt.
The teachers split the plums down the middle, and children enjoyed twisting them and popping out the stone to present them beautifully. Most of the teachers also gave the kids the freedom to present their deliciously healthy desserts in whatever way they wished… Chefs always get creative licence, after all!
Year 3 at Charlbury Primary School in Oxfordshire loved their first lesson! “The lesson lasted about an hour and there was lots of fun, laughter and learning! Everyone got involved and there was a great atmosphere with all of the adults and children tasting the spiced plums! Fantastic discussions went on about fruit and plums in particular - some interesting thoughts about what fruit we were touching, smelling and tasting - some thought it was a peach or nectarine. We also had some damsons from a local orchard which were a completely new fruit to all of the class. We sent out the recipes and facts so are awaiting feedback from homes and looking for more plum based recipes to try! Thank-you so much all of us want to do it every week!”
The teachers at Corpus Christi RC Primary School in Oldham combined their cooking lesson with a history lesson on the Tudors and the Mary Rose, talking all about the foods sailors need to stay healthy. We love that curriculum link!
We had lots of reports of the children drawing their dishes, and describing them using some very cheffy words! Well-done!
Some of the children at our pilot schools thought they didn’t like plums, but after cooking up such a cracking recipe, most of them had changed their minds by the end of the lesson. One of the teachers at Henry Cavendish Primary School reported that “Some children had not tasted plums before, but they really enjoyed the recipe. The children even licked their bowls!”
And some of the children have asked to take the recipe home (and where the best place is to buy mixed spice), so that they can cook it as a surprise for their families. Great idea!
We’re really pleased that the first month of the Fruit and Veg Programme went so well – thank you so much to all our wonderful pilot schools for your amazing feedback. It’s completely invaluable to us, so a humungous thank you to all of you. We can’t wait for next month, already!
Introducing our Fruit and Veg Programme
The first ever Food Revolution Day on May 19th was a huge success. There were 1000 events in 62 countries, across 664 cities and all of the funds raised globally went directly to food education programmes. In the UK all of the funds raised went toward expanding the Kitchen Garden Project through our exciting new Fruit and Veg Programme: the Food Education Box! We’ve teamed up with Abel & Cole to provide schools with all they need to teach hands on food education to primary school children without needing a kitchen or fully productive garden.
The concept is simple: we have developed a resource full of fun facts, educational activities linked to curriculum objectives, and a quick no-cook recipe for teachers to use to introduce their class to seasonal produce. Each resource comes in a box filled with all the ingredients, provided by Able & Cole, and all teachers need to do is get stuck in!
Thanks to the funds raised on Food Revolution Day we are able to pilot the scheme completely free for 25 primary schools across the UK beginning in September. The schools will receive 10 boxes of fruit or vegetables- one per month across the school year, and all they need to teach a class of Key Stage 2 children a fun and engaging food–based lesson.
We can’t wait to get started, and to get kids tasting and learning about the excitement of seasonal food! This is taking us just one step closer to making Kitchen Garden learning accessible for all children, equipping them with the food knowledge they need to make healthier, more informed food choices in the future. This new school year should be a cracking one!
Summer came slightly early in Orford with a plentiful bumper crop of strawberries! Pupils harvested them, tasted them, and set about freezing them so that when they return to their kitchen classroom in September they can have a nice reminder of summer.
Did you know that strawberries are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside? And that just 8 deliciously ripe strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange?
Happy last day of term, everyone! The kitchen garden team hopes that you have wonderful summer holidays full of fresh fruit and summer veg.
Our First Newsletter
Our first ever newsletter is about to hit the inboxes of those that have registered their interest in the project. Check it out here to see what we have been upto and hit subscribe to add your name to our contact list!
Rotherfield Pupils Join Training
On the final day of training the teachers from Rotherfield Primary invited a group of their students to join them at JO headquarters and get a taste of the project that is launching in their school in September. Pupils were chosen from year 2 to year 5, and the teachers worked in groups to test out their teaching skills and our brand new Kitchen Garden recipes. It was a fabulous day, and amazing to see how much the teachers have grown through the training process. By the end of the three hours the pupils had made their very own meal consisting of: Evolution Tomato Salad, homemade Focaccia, Lovely Veggies with Herby Yoghurt Dip, Chicken Goujons, a Fruit Platter and individual apple and blackberry crumbles to take home to their families. One of the best moments was when one of the year five students turned to the teacher and said “These chicken goujons are better than Macdonald’s and Burger King COMBINED”! For more images from the day check out our Facebook Page!
Kate's Torch Run
Kate Kilburn has been delivering Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden pilot at Orford Primary School for three years. Her constant energy has made a huge difference to children’s lives giving them a food education that will remain with them for a lifetime. Kate’s dedication means she has spent a lot of her own time selecting recipes, planning lessons, sourcing and buying all the ingredients she needs. Thanks to Kate, when children leave Orford at eleven they can prepare a three-course meal, fillet a fish, skin a chicken and tell you all about seasonality and sustainable food while they do it! As well as these crucial life skills Kate is also boosting the confidence of many children through their achievements in the kitchen and engaging many less academic children in learning. She really is making a difference to the health and well being of our future generation. As a celebration of all her hardwork, our friends, and Olympic sponsors, Samsung, honoured Kate with an opportunity to run the Olympic torch through Suffolk. Kate ran through Wickham Market on Thursday July 5th and described the experience as a one in a lifetime honour. Go Kate!
Training for the Kitchen Garden Project
Our first ever Kitchen Garden Project training course began just after half term for six lucky teachers from Rotherfield Primary School. The goal of the Kitchen Garden Project has always been to make food education accessible for all children, and one of the key elements is creating an environment where existing teachers can be trained to deliver a kitchen and garden curriculum so that the school does not need to hire additional staff. Our Kitchen Garden team has been hard at work designing a training course to get these teachers cooking like Jamie in no time!
In ten days over the course of the summer term, the teachers spent time at Jamie O headquarters perfected their palates, while learning knife skills, nutrition, food safety, seasonality, as well as tips for teaching like Jamie, running a successful kitchen garden project, involving the community and inspiring others to pass it on. When we left them last week they were bursting with energy and eager to get started on delivering the project. We can’t wait to watch them succeed!
Interview with Kate Kilburn
Maddy, one of the year 6 pupils at Orford Primary, interviewed Kate Kilburn, the lead for the Kitchen Garden Project as part of one of her final projects in school. Here is what she learned.
What made you want to be a cook?
When I was 17 I did a diploma in Cordon Blue and catering. This took one and a half years. I never actually cooked as a career, apart from in my local pub. I used to have friends over for big dinners at home when I was about 15. I loved entertaining!!
What's it like teaching the Orford children to cook?
I enjoy teaching the Orford children to cook. It is lovely to see the children become super confident cooks. Some have good knowledge of food and cooking when they are young and I like teaching the children who don't have such good knowledge why it is important to eat well. We eat 3 x a day so there is no point filling yourself with unhealthy food.
Do you think they learn more than just cooking in their lessons with you?
The children learn so many things in the cooking class without realising it. Maths, number bonds, fractions, measuring, estimating, working as a team, getting on with and helping other people, nutrition of food, seasonal produce and where it is grown oh, and learning how to cook using all equipment available.
Did you enjoy cooking when you were a child?
I enjoyed cooking as a child. I liked my mother's cooking and always cooked with our lovely babysitter when she came around.
What's your favourite thing to cook?
Ooh that's hard: curry, stews and cakes. I am quite an earthy kind of cook, simple dishes that taste great.
What's your favourite thing to eat?
I love Italian- a great homemade pasta full of flavour in a delicious tomato sauce.
Is there anything you can't stand to eat?
I don't like offal, rice pudding, and HATE overcooked veg (3 mins max!) and fresh salmon.
Do you try out the recipes from school on your children?
Yes I do try out the recipes on my children in the main. They usually like them all and they find it quite fun. Will quite often helps me cook them, he enjoys cooking.
Are you excited about carrying the Olympic Torch? What does is mean to you to be asked to carry the torch?
I can't believe I am carrying the Olympic torch!! I am very excited and hope I get asked a lot about where I work so that everyone will know about Orford school.
Orford's Very Own Pasta Sauce
Food Revolution Day marked the launch of Orford Primary School’s very own food product! Creating a sellable food product has long been an idea as a way to keep the Kitchen Garden Project sustainable for schools around the country, and Orford realised this dream in time for the first ever Food Revolution Day. The pupils worked with the food development team at Tiptree in Essex to create their very own pasta sauce. Spicy Nicey sauce was created from a recipe designed by the pupils, named by the pupils, and jarred using a label designed by the pupils (with a bit of help from our friends at Superfantastic). The sauce was a huge hit! The first batch of 200 jars sold out in one day and left the people from Orford community begging for more. Orford plans to produce a second batch of the sauce over the summer holidays to stock in local restaurants, cafes and pubs, and they are currently thinking about expanding their line to a second product!
Spring vegetable frittata
It has been a busy week in the teaching kitchen at Orford Primary School. Reception and Year 1 pupils tested Jamie's new Spring Vegetable Frittata recipe. The children snipped spring onions, grated courgette, measured out tablespoons of peas, snipped ham, crumbled feta cheese AND broke the eggs into a bowl on their own! All the ingredients were mixed together and put into a well-greased tin to bake. While waiting the children worked together to do the washing and drying up, for as you mum's know, cleaning the kitchen is half the battle. They also made labels to hang in their kitchens at home with the word protein on one side and drawings on the other of foods that contain protein, just like the eggs in their frittatas. After 30 minutes, the six frittatas were ready to come out of the oven, and the pupils used their maths skills to work out they each could take home ¼ of a Frittata to share with their family, while still having some left to taste in the classroom.
It was a rather frustrating week in the garden last week. It's been so wet that only Class 2 managed to get outside to get their hands dirty. The pupils mounted a slug and snail patrol, as the rain spurs them into life and sets them about the garden devouring seedlings. They are especially attracted to tender shoots, and can cause trouble in a young veg patch. Breaks in the rain are perfect moments for gardeners to set about on the hunt, and the pupils were avid guards, protecting their seedling vegetables. The broad beans are flowering quite well, and the children are hoping for a good crop in only a few weeks-time. Hopefully the weather will dry up, as it's time to really get things moving for the late spring/summer harvest!
Making fresh pasta from scratch filled with ingredients from the garden is the absolute essence of the Kitchen Garden Project. The year six pupils at Orford showed great determination and patience and teamwork with their pasta dough, kneading and chilling and rolling and rerolling. They prepped their filling with fresh ricotta, lemon zest, mint, peas, a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly ground pepper, and set about pinching. The result was a batch of (almost) perfect ravioli that impressed even Mrs. Kilburn. As pasta is only one piece of a healthy plate, the children finished up by prepping a green salad with homemade dressing, and sat down to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Food Revolution Day
Jamie's Kitchen Garden Project is excited to show our support for Food Revolution Day, Jamie's first ever global day of action to inspire, educate, and empower people everywhere to stand up for real food. Thousands of people worldwide will participate on May 19th in events to raise awareness on preventing diet-related diseases, and to arm people with the knowledge and tools to make healthier food choices.
In Orford, members of the local community are turning the day into a true village affair to support the Kitchen Garden Project at Orford Primary School and to celebrate the abundant local food community. The community will hold a specially expanded Orford Market with some exciting fringe events throughout the afternoon. Some ideas being discussed are promotional lunches, smokehouse and bakery tours and cooking classes. For this special market day local food businesses and producers are being invited to join in and promote their food fayre with a market stall. If you are in Suffolk be sure to check it out!
If you would like to get involved check the website to host your own local food event or see what's going on in your community. Also be sure to join the movement online, sharing pictures of your homemade #realfood or home-grown #growrealfood on Twitter and instagram, or upload pictures of your edible garden to our gallery!
Spring at Orford
The start of spring has been met with lots of action in Orford Primary School's garden. To get ready to plant this year's crop, the children have been busy weeding the herb bed near the kitchen, clearing out the over-wintering plants and pricking out their Brussels sprout, pepper, and tomato seedlings. Pricking out, or "thinning", is when you remove the seedlings from their original container and replant them individually in the ground or pots so that they have more room to stretch their roots and grow.
On top of all this, the children were busy harvesting loads of beautiful salad greens. The year 6 pupils used these greens to make a pretty little-gem salad with homemade dressing made from honey, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and their delicious local rapeseed oil. Even after the salads were made, the children had an extra 150g of salad leaves to sell to members of the community at the local Froise Inn restaurant over the weekend!
Bawdsey Primary School visits Orford
Every Thursday, year 2 pupils from Bawdsey Primary School visit the kitchen at Orford to participate as well in Jamie Oliver's Kitchen Garden Project. This week the students tested out Jamie's salmon fishcakes with a side of crispy cubed potatoes topped with rosemary fresh from the garden. They also fixed up a dish of roasted carrots and savoy cabbage, drizzled with leftover dressing made by the year 6 class earlier in the week. After coming back for thirds, a very sophisticated pupil, Harvey, said that he liked the combination of lemon zest and salmon. Good feedback for Jamie!
When it was time for pudding, the students were a bit apprehensive about Jamie's butternut squash muffins. They had never seen squash in a pudding before, and even the mum who helped thought it was really interesting that you didn't need to peel them before adding to the mix. Once out of the oven, though, the children couldn't resist them and all had two each. The overwhelming response was that they "didn't like them, they LOVED them".
Building Jamie's Kitchen Garden Project in Islington
Rotherfield Primary School in Islington, north London, has become the second pilot school for Jamie's Kitchen Garden Project! The school had already built a brilliant "edible playground" together with our friends at Trees for Cities, and were keen to connect the garden with a kitchen. Our team was thrilled to join in, and the second Kitchen Garden pilot was born.
The project at Rotherfield is very different from the project in Orford, and our team has been hard at work adjusting the program so it works for different schools. Our first step: creating a space in which to cook. Throughout February, the school, with the help of Urban Myth and Samsung, transformed an old storage building into a lovely, bright kitchen classroom and dining space! Now that they are all kitted out, neither the teachers nor the pupils can wait to get cooking!