Pupils from Montem Primary School in Hornsey Road, Islington have received the first of three fruit and vegetable gardens, courtesy of Sodexo, a leading provider of on-site service solutions.

Sodexo has joined forces with, supplier of organic vegetable and herb plants, Rocket Gardens’ Dig for the Future1 project, which encourages schools to get children growing organic vegetables and learning about the food they eat.

As part of its STOP Hunger campaign, Sodexo is providing schools in communities where it operates with seasonal fruit, vegetable and salad gardens. The project, sponsored by its own charity the Sodexo Foundation, will provide nominated schools across the country with a year’s supply of school gardens which includes a fruit garden, a spring/summer garden and an autumn/winter garden.

Sophia Ioannou, Environmental Tutor at Montem Primary School says: “We were delighted to receive the Rocket Garden from Sodexo, it is perfect for our Environmental Education and Global Food Growing Project. The children are very excited about planting, nurturing, harvesting and then eating the fruit and vegetables they are growing.”

For the schools gardens, care has been taken to select varieties that will harvest before the summer and Christmas holidays. The plant package also comes delivered with natural worm cast fertiliser to feed the plants throughout the growing season, as well as growing guides and National Curriculum linked lesson plans so that schools get the most out of their gardens.

Montem Primary School have already received two of their three gardens; the fruit garden which included a collection of soft fruit bushes, canes and plants, plus the spring garden which comprised a selection of baby plants including lettuces, spinach, carrots, leeks, tomatoes, runner and green beans, courgettes, cabbages and potatoes. The final delivery, an autumn garden which will be delivered in September and will include more baby plants such as spring onions, pak choi, turnips, broccoli, broad beans to name just a few.

James Greetham, managing director at Sodexo’s Prestige London division said: “This is a great project for us. We asked our clients to nominate a local school which they would like to receive the schools garden. It was our client, the property management company PRUPIM who nominated Montem, they chose the school after a number of employees had volunteered at the school a few years ago to help with the garden and painting the school playground. We have received a lovely thank you card from the children and look forward to receiving regular updates on the progress of their garden.”

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