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‘Grow Your Own Potatoes’ project in Britain a success despite pandemic crisis

Keeping children engaged in the Grow Your Own Potatoes (GYOP) project has been a priority for AHDB Potatoes’ education team, ever since schools closed back in March, not long after planting their potatoes as part of this year’s GYOP project.

GYOP was launched in 2004 and since then over 5 million children in Britain have discovered where potatoes come from, how they grow and their health benefits. The value of the programme has been recognised by the general public, and also by the potato and food industry.

Research in schools, just before lockdown, revealed that 97% of those planted had managed to get plans in place to look after their growing plants. With this in mind regular contact with schools taking part was maintained with links to resources on both the GYOP website and the “Food – a fact of life” websites – remote learning hub.

Sue Lawton, AHDB Education Manager said: “Due to lockdown, we made changes to the competition element of the project this year and introduced three top prizes regardless of region or variety, but we still managed to get a large number of entries.”

Winners list:

  • 1st Beavers Community Primary School in Hounslow, who grew a fantastic 4300g of Colleen
  • 2nd Severndale Specialist Academy with 4000g
  • 3rd St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School in Tamworth who grew 3520g.

“I think we will all agree it has been a year like no other but work has already started on next year’s project and we think you will like what we are developing. Hopefully everything will be back to normal very soon and we hope we will make GYOP 2021 bigger and better than ever,” added Sue Lawton.

Award Nomination 

This year GYOP have been short listed for the Food and Drink Federation Awards (FDF) in the Community Partner and Education Initiative   The Food – a fact of life programme which we run together with British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has also been nominated as a finalist in these categories.

Source: AHDB
Further information: Grow Your Own Potatoes

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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