As part of the Food Vale Festival this year, The Micro Greengrocer, Amanda Wood delivered an exciting workshop at Victoria Primary school with pupils from year 3 & 5. The Micro Greengrocer is an urban vertical farm and grows superfood microgreens in a local repurposed shipping container.
The workshop activities began at the very beginning of the festival, when Amanda visited the children to talk to them about how important it is to think about growing our own produce to cut out the food miles that most of our fresh food from supermarkets has. The session discussed the benefits of growing microgreens; how they grow; their nutrition; why they are good for the environment; recipes and how to grow microgreens at home. The pupils were then given the chance to taste the different varieties of microgreens, which included radish, broccoli, sunflower and rocket.
Next, it was time to get their hands dirty! Pupils were invited to sow their very own tray of microgreens, coming up with a snappy team name so that they could track the progress of their microgreens as they grew in Amanda’s sustainable vertical farm.
Once everybody had had a chance to get stuck in, Amanda took the trays of carefully sown seeds back to her shipping container where they could thrive in the controlled environment of the farm. Throughout the week, Amanda shared the progress of the crops and how fast they were growing. Meanwhile, the pupils of Victoria Primary School were busy preparing for their Microgreen Farmers Market where they would sell their microgreens at the end of the week. They made banners and posters advertising the market, and prepared paper bags with beautiful designs which the harvested microgreens could be taken home in.
At the end of the festival, the microgreens were ready to be harvested. The children were amazed at how quickly the seeds had grown! Amanda showed the pupils how to carefully harvest the microgreens from their trays, making sure to clean off any compost and seed husks. The microgreens were then mixed and divided into the paper bags ready for customers.
Amanda commented, “The children worked brilliantly as a team and they were really organised with the system they created to harvest, package and label their produce. It was lovely to see them enjoying sowing their seeds and then preparing for their own farmer’s market – all in one week! Their stall was beautifully created, I was truly inspired by their work”
The market stall was set up, and the pupils were then ready to sell at their Farmers Market. Recipe booklets were also distributed to enthusiastic customers to give them some ideas of how to use their microgreens, including a delicious sunflower microgreen ‘guacamole’. The Farmers Market was a real success and the microgreens sold out in less than half an hour, raising over £120 in donations!