Grow, Cook, Eat at Mayfield Primary School
“My granny used to let me lick the spoon when she’d been baking.” This was just one of the shared memories that kick-started the Grow, Cook, Eat seminar at Mayfield Primary School in North Ayrshire when classroom and catering staff from Mayfield PS and Skelmorlie PS got together for a holistic ‘soil to plate’ learning experience.
The secret life of a pizza was one of the first topics up for discussion, and the group investigated which countries the raw ingredients might have come from and how those foods could have been produced.
Janice McCulloch, Classroom Assistant at Skelmorlie Primary School shared her experience of the school’s Beyond the Great Outdoors project. With a young orchard of nine fruit trees, raised beds for veg-growing and an eco-greenhouse on the go, she stressed the importance of getting the whole community involved.
A tour of Mayfield PS’s growing spaces offered a great opportunity to share best practice and marvel at the abundant veg including radishes, peas, onions and even a young grapevine. Back indoors, Gillian Dore, Purchasing Officer, gave an overview of current practice within North Ayrshire Council’s Catering Services, providing a real insight into their commitment to ethical, local and sustainable procurement and the ethos of the Food for Life Catering Mark.
In the school kitchen, Avril and Wendy shared their skills, making pancakes, pizza and fruit smoothies. The secret of the amazing tomato sauce on the pizza? Roast vegetables. Lunch was enjoyed by everyone and the day was rounded off with a discussion of the importance of a school’s food culture and the use of the school dining experience as a tool for learning.
Grow, Cook, Eat was delivered in partnership with North Ayrshire Council’s Catering Services, Royal Highland Education Trust and Soil Association Scotland’s Food for Life team. Huge thanks go to everyone involved, including: Jennifer Muir, Principal Teacher at Mayfield PS; Wendy & Avril at Mayfield PS; Gillian Dore & Una Doolan at North Ayrshire Council; Janice McCulloch, Classroom Assistant at Skelmorlie Primary School; and Sara Smith, RHET.