Going to Ground at Wicor Primary School

Going to Ground at Wicor Primary School

Later this month pupils at Wicor Primary School in Portchester will celebrate British Food Fortnight with the help of enthusiastic local businesses.

On Wednesday 30th September usual lessons will be put on hold so pupils can get involved in the Wicor School Harfest Grounds Day. The event has been organised by the school in partnership with Hampshire Fare.

A wide range of activities will take place in the school’s impressive grounds which include allotments, woodlands, wildflowers, herb and fruit plants and a tropics border. The school is committed to linking the curriculum to the outdoor space and Harfest Grounds Day will emphasise this important connection at the school.

Year 5 and 6 pupils will be in the talented hands of two local chefs Paul Watts, Head Chef of Meon Marriot Hotel and Liam Richardson from Rick Stein. Both chefs will cook outside using vegetables harvested from the school grounds. Meanwhile Year 4 students will harvest their own vegetables from the school allotments and under the expert guidance of Min Raisman from Fit2Cook they will cook their own vegetable tarts.

Year 3 pupils will get closer to nature as they go outdoors with Simon Cavill from Bee Good and the school’s resident bee keeper. There will be honey tasting and much bee talk and bee spotting. Whilst Will Dobson from Hill Farm Juice will be in the orchard with Year 2 pupils learning about varieties of apples with an opportunity to do some juicing.

Jon Stokes, a forager from the Tree Council, will explore the grounds with Year 1 pupils alongside tastings of jams made from the produce they find. Ian Nelson from Sunnyfields will impart his knowledge about vegetable growing and farming with a veg walk and some veg preparation.

The reception class will be working with staff from Hampshire Fare. They will learn about different plants and vegetables through a Hog Hunt and will then return to the classroom to make Veg Heads with vegetables supplied by Sunnyfields using materials donated by The Southern Co-operative.

Children will learn how to use a variety of produce from veg boxes with Riverford. Garsons will take pupils on a taste journey with a range of local products to try.

Mark Wildman, Head teacher of Wicor Primary School commented on the plans for the day, “At Wicor Primary School we grow a lot of our own food which the children harvest for cooking or for sale in our organic veg box scheme. We also have hens and are hoping that our bees will soon be producing honey, all of which provide first hand experiences for the children to plant, nurture, harvest and use local produce.”

“British Food Fortnight seemed to be the perfect opportunity for us to build on this philosophy. We have assigned our Autumn Grounds Day on 30th September doing something with food; every child will learn something about food production, harvest or cookery by working alongside a local provider or producer.”

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare, is excited to be involved in leading the event, “We have been overwhelmed by the offers of help and support from local producers, chefs and businesses. There is such enthusiasm behind the event. It really is a team effort to help the future generation learn about where their food comes from.  We hope that other local schools feel inspired by the event and think about holding their own harvest day involving local producers.”

Hampshire Fare is a community interest company dedicated to support the county’s local food and drink producers. Follow the progress of the project via twitter. Follow @minihorts and @hampshirefare for the latest news about the day.