Primary school children to get growing in ‘Purple Potato Project’

Lisburn-based social enterprise Kinder Garden Cooks has joined forces with organics recycling firm Natural World Products (NWP) and Patch Seed Potatoes for an initiative to encourage primary school children to get growing.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:10 pm
Primary 1 pupils from Friends’ Prep school in Lisburn help to launch the ‘Purple Potato Project’ an initiative set up by Lisburn-based social enterprise Kinder Garden Cooks. They are joined by, from left, Colm Warren of NWP, Alex McCreight of Patch Seed Potatoes and Sharon McMaster of Kinder Garden Cooks. Photography by Jude Rankin

The ‘Purple Potato Project’ will see 280 P1 pupils at schools across the Lisburn area take part.

Each child will receive a bag of New Leaf Compost from NWP, which converts local household food and garden waste into organic, peat-free compost, and a newly-bred purple seed potato from Patch Seed Potatoes.

Participating schools include Friends’ Prep, Wallace Prep, Forthill PS, Pond Park PS, Ballycarrickmaddy PS, Moira PS and Rowandale Integrated PS.

Sharon McMaster runs Kinder Garden Cooks which teaches and encourages children to grow food and cook. She said the initiative will enable children to continue learning about growing despite the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

She commented: “It is great to be able launch this initiative with schools where we would normally be running our gardening clubs.

“The Purple Potato Project is just one of our ideas as we seek to continue supporting schools and their teachers with horticultural know how and opportunities, with the help of our volunteering team, helping them to de develop outdoor spaces for ease of use.

“Wishing all the kids the best of luck with the purple potatoes and we look forward to returning to gardening with pupils in school in the future.”

Dunmurry-based NWP Chief Executive Colm Warren said: “We are rooted in the community so it is particularly rewarding to know that our compost is being used to provide children with some fun and enjoyment during these very difficult times.”

Alex McCreight of Patch Seed Potatoes, located near Rathfriland, added: “The seed potato we’re providing the schools with is a brand-new variety of purple potato, and so, it doesn’t actually have a name as of yet. Therefore, we’re inviting all participants to get creative and have a go at developing a name that could potentially be used for this new variety.”