Veg Power has joined forces with an Edinburgh Community Food project to connect children with the food they eat

Veg Power, the not-for-profit to increase the UK’s veg consumption, has joined forces with Edinburgh Community Food, a social enterprise and charity which tackles health inequalities to deliver the ‘Grow Strong’ project.

Veg Power gets kids growing tomatoes

Veg Power gets kids growing tomatoes

Image: Veg Power

The initiative, designed to get children interested and learning about growing food, involves cherry tomatoes being grown from seed and a pasta sauce being created from the harvest.

Grow Strong involves 38 primary schools and is supported by local families, government, businesses and former Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins.

Each participating child has received a Grow Pack containing a propagator, tomato seeds and compost kindly donated by Unwins Seeds. The seeds will be sown in school with the seedlings taken home over the summer holidays ready for the pasta sauce to be created in September. The packs also contain a Grow Strong wall chart full of information and advice to help the young growers. Chris Collins will also be joining Edinburgh’s children, growing his own tomato plant and providing tips and vlogs to help them.

Commenting on Grow Strong, Chris Collins, Former Blue Peter Gardener said: “There is nothing like seeing the miracle of a tiny seed emerge from the soil, grow, bloom and produce fresh food. When you have grown once, you will want to grow for a lifetime. Knowing how to grow food is not just amazing fun, it’s also a life skill and one our children should not be without.”

Dan Parker, chief executive, Veg Power, said: “Veg Power is committed to increasing the UK’s veg consumption and the Grow Strong project in which children will grow tomatoes from seed is a fun initiative that not only teaches them about food systems and healthy eating but brings together an alliance of local government, business, community and schools.”

The learning will continue throughout the Summer with a number of  events for children taking place in Edinburgh’s Community Gardens, which will help them on their Grow Strong journey and ensure the cherry tomatoes make a tasty pasta sauce. People across Edinburgh are invited to join in the fun by growing their own cherry tomato plants.