Edible Rotherhithe is a community food growing project based at Surrey Square School in South East London. It was set up by Christina Wheatley who wanted to support children to develop food growing skills and knowledge of where food comes from.
Surrey Square School is lucky enough to have its own polytunnel and plenty of spaces for food growing, thanks to Chistina Wheatley and Edible Rotherhithe who have partnered with the school to transform the grounds into an edible playground.
Edible Rotherhithe runs food growing sessions with the students and the produce grown is sent straight to the school's kitchen so the children can eat the fruits of their own labour and share the food with their peers and teachers.
Christina often finds herself in conversation with children who assume certain foods are 'created' at the supermarket. It makes her community good growing project seem ever more important and she’s keen to hone in on children’s enthusiasm to introduce practical food growing and instil healthy eating behaviours.
During the school holidays, any food harvested goes directly to the local food hub, which some of the kids who help grow the food also have access to. Christina has found that the more the message of healthy eating and food growing reaches the kids, the more of an opportunity there is for the knowledge to be passed to their extended families.
Edible Rotherhithe is hopeful for future plans to work with local community estates to build up their growing spaces around Surrey Square School to encourage the children and their families to get involved with food growing in their local area outside of a school setting.
To celebrate Good to Grow Day this year, Edible Rotherhithe gave out seed growing kits funded by the council’s Neighbourhood Grant alongside work sheets illustrated by Tim Devas which included tips for kids to help grow their seeds.