English insurer encourages children to have vegetable gardens in schools

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    Fifty english schools will each be given their own vegetable garden to grow as a direct result of the hugely successful ‘Dig Down South West’ campaign, it has been announced today.

    The initiative (digdownsouthwest.co.uk) is aimed at encouraging children to grow their own produce. Schools across the region (full list in notes to editors) successfully registered on-line and were drawn from dozens of entries. Each primary school will receive a large selection of baby vegetable plants, courtesy of rural insurance firm Cornish Mutual.

    Last month the ‘Dig Down South West’ campaign was launched by well-known TV personality and expert gardener Charlie Dimmock. It followed a survey, commissioned by Cornish Mutual that showed almost two thirds of school children across the region struggle to identify the origins of everyday food products they consume.

    Over 1,100 youngsters between the ages of six and eight, were questioned for the research to determine their level of awareness and knowledge of vegetables, dairy products and meat produce. Less than one in four knew that beef burgers are sourced from cows, with 29 per cent saying beef burgers came from pigs.

    “So far the ‘Dig Down South West’ campaign has been a tremendous success and we were inundated with entries from schools across the region interested in growing their own produce” said Alan Goddard, Managing Director of Cornish Mutual. “We’re delighted to be able to announce the successful schools and will work with them to follow their progress from delivery, right through to harvesting their vegetables. It’s so important for our children to understand where their food comes from and this is a fantastic way of supporting their learning.” commented Alan Goddard.

    ‘Dig Down South West’, supported by Cornish Mutual, is aimed at all primary schools across the region with an interest in growing their own vegetable garden. It will help to create 50 new vegetable gardens in schools to encourage children, between the ages of five and eight, to take an active interest in ‘growing their own’ produce. The aim of the campaign is to promote the value and benefits of children understanding the source of their food, nurturing their own produce and learning how to live a more sustainable life for the future.