Almost 10,000 primary school children across the north and north-east are learning more about where their food comes from as part of a project launched by a farming charity.
The Royal Northern Countryside Initiative (RNCI) – a charity which aims to teach children in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray about food and farming – would normally arrange farm visits for school children or send farmers into schools to talk about food production.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced to charity to find a new way of engaging with youngsters and it has launched a windowsill garden project for primary school teachers to do with their pupils.
Schools participating in the project have been sent a growing kit complete with seeds for beans, peas, cress, radish and salad, along with instructions on how to grow the vegetables.
“It was hard to know how much interest there would be but we were overwhelmed by the response we had from the schools and ended up distributing over 400 kits in total to 121 schools stretching from Forres to Fraserburgh, and from Aberdeen to Braemar,” said RNCI project manager, Alison Johnston.
“This has meant that almost 10,000 pupils have been given the kits and will hopefully enjoy a fun learning experience.”
RNCI Windowsill Gardening Project 2021. 409 kits into 409 classes. 121 schools and 9567 pupils. Happy growing. Thank you to our benefactors and volunteers for making this possible. @RNCI1 pic.twitter.com/yrFm62ZFCm
— RNCI (@RNCI1) May 3, 2021
She said the kits, which have been provided for free to schools, had been created with support from various companies including Raemoir Garden Centre in Banchory and Threaplands Garden Centre in Lhanbryde.
Other project supporters include Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), GPH Builders Merchants, Tesco, Collyhill Farm and Muiryhall Farm.
Ms Johnston said the kits have been well received by teachers and schools have been asked to share pictures and progress updates on how children are getting on with their windowsill projects.
Maggie Laws from Clerkhill Primary in Peterhead said: “I was expecting a few packets of seeds so was blown over by the expense, time and thought put into the kits.
“I have distributed the packs through the school from nursery to P7, so really looking forward to seeing what we can all grow.”