Green-fingered pupils inspired to grow their own

Cllr Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee, is pictured with green-fingered pupils Jonathan Allen and Cameron Stirling at Meadow Bridge Primary School.
Cllr Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee, is pictured with green-fingered pupils Jonathan Allen and Cameron Stirling at Meadow Bridge Primary School.

Nine local primary schools have been crowned winners in Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s recent harvest-themed competition.

The winners - Ballinderry PS, Cairnshill PS, Creagagh PS, Dromora PS, Knockmore PS, Largymore PS, Meadow Bridge PS, Millennium Integrated and Tonagh PS - will each get an allotment installed at their school, as well as seeds for planting and tools for the children to use when nurturing their crops.

The purpose of the competition was to encourage the next generation of talented growers, broaden the pupils’ understanding of agriculture and promote healthy eating.

Growing fruit and vegetables in the garden at school is a fantastic way to demonstrate the link between the food we eat, the seasons and the land. The children were asked to think about the autumn season and write poems that reflected this.

The standard of entries was exceptionally high and the poems extremely creative.

Speaking about the competition and the fantastic engagement from local schools, Cllr Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, said: “We were so impressed with the standard of work submitted by the children that it was difficult to choose winners.

“Learning about where our food comes from, and the process of tending and harvesting their own vegetables, is a great lesson for the children.

“We have many excellent local producers in our council area and they all started with a passion for producing, so instilling it in our young people is key to developing this growing trend into the future.”

Cllr Mackin added: “We are looking forward to following the story up with all the schools when the children’s vegetables have grown and are ready to be harvested.”