|Little Growers this year for the seven schools involved has been a great success. There have been a few mistakes here & there but all in all the children have achieved a very high standard of growing. I’m really impressed with what they have grown this year; in fact their success would have put many “Big Growers” to shame. The concept seems to have worked very well indeed. Little Growers has now been officially formed and is a “not for profit Community Interest Company” Our intensions for 2009 are to provide all the equipment to 100 additional schools. We are at present applying for grants to raise £70,000, fingers crossed these will be successful and the additional schools & children will all benefit.
I would like to congratulate Hillside Primary School in winning the loofah competition. They managed to produce seven loofahs, well done. I personally only managed to grow three. I would also like to thank HydroGarden for providing the prize. The children at Hillside will now be able to grow herbs & lettuce in the AeroGarden provided by HydroGarden. It will also show them different & amazing methods of plant production.
I would also like to congratulate Hawthorns Primary School, as they entered some of their produce in a local horticultural show in which they received 2nd prize for their entry. Once again well done.
The Little Growers business plan is now available for all to see on the home page of the website. Please feel free to download & read it. Pass it on to anyone who you may feel might be interested in helping support Little Growers. The more people learn & hear about Little Growers the greater the chance we have of making it a success. Please follow this link to see the business plan.
Little Growers would also like to announce that Sutton Seeds have now been added to the sponsors. They have kindly offered to provide the seeds to all the schools involved. We would like to thank them for their kind generosity.
There has been a slight revision to the original concept rolled out by Little Growers in 2008. For 2009 all the schools involved will be asked to grow from seed, with the seeds provided by Sutton Seeds. Each school will be provided with a window sill propagation unit kindly supplied by Garland Products, called the Super 7. We feel this will benefit the children further as they will be able to select their seeds of choice, germinate them and get them ready to be transplanted into the greenhouses in late spring.
In the business plan on the home page we previously stated that due to the logistics of shipping compost around the United Kingdom that each school would need to source their own from a local garden centre. After much thought we are going to talk with Scotts to see if we can arrange to have compost delivered to local garden centres so that schools in the area can collect the required amount for Little Growers 2009. We will keep all the schools involved in 2009 updated on this issue. Once it is confirmed and the schools selected, we will have a better idea of how the logistics can be arranged.
After Christmas once the children return back to school we will be sending out information to over 1,500 schools around the United Kingdom, inviting them to be part of Little Growers 2009. As mentioned previously there will be 100 available places, subject to the approval of the grants. The first 100 schools to contact us at [email protected] will be selected. Initially we had intended to place all the interested schools in a hat and select them at random. We have now decided to select the schools on a first come first served basis. If anyone would like to nominate a school where your children attend prior to the mail out then please let us know before Christmas at the above email address. We can then contact any schools put forward and add them to the Little Growers list for 2009. Please ensure that the school you intend to nominate is aware that you will be nominating them. If a school is not interested please do not nominate them.
The amount of money raised through sales made via the AutoPot on-line shop & donated to Little Growers since March 2008 is £507.12. Little Growers would like to thank everyone that has helped contribute. If everyone simply adds “Little Growers” to the comments box more money can be raised, please remember to do this when placing an order over the value of £30.00 (excluding delivery).
Finally I would like to thank all the sponsors that have helped Little Growers for 2008 and for 2009. Your assistance and kindness is much appreciated. I’m sure all the children from all the schools feel the same and have also benefited in a positive way. All the sponsors can be viewed by following this link.
Jason.S.Ralph-Smith (Director & Founder)
Of AutoPot & Little Growers
All the plants for the schools are now growing well, we started propagation in January, we will also be taking some seeds to each of the schools so that the children can germinate some of their own plants.
The plants that we are growing for Little Growers are as follows:
||Sungold, a small yellow cherry tomato, with thin skins and very sweet.
Gardeners Delight, a small red cherry tomato, a greenhouse favourite.
Ailsa Craig, a medium size tomato.
Pomodoro, an Italian plum tomato, with thin skins & few seeds.
||Black Beauty, large tasty purple fruits.
||Tasty King, producing heavy crops & tasty fruit.
||Olympia F1, once the central head has been harvested; expect several tender side-shoots too.
||Ailsa Craig, a great all rounder, which still takes some beating.
||Honey Bantum, sweet tasting and early cropper.
||Marco, distinctive strong flavour, excellent when used in companion planting, as it will act as a natural deterrent to many pests.
||Tendercrop, long straight, succulent & stringless pods.
||Kelvedon Wonder, the most popular dwarf variety.
||Bright lights, very tasty, can be used in stir fries; young leaves are delicious in salads.
||Peach Habanero, very hot, small squat variety with peach coloured fruits.
Fiesta, tri colour fruits, changing from green-purple-red, height 2-3 feet.
Tepin wild chilli, believed to be one of the worlds hottest chillies.
Purple Tiger, tri coloured fruit & leaves, very attractive & hot.
Rocoto, golf ball size fruit, changing colour green-yellow-orange-red.
||This is our competition plant for this years launch of Little Growers, each school will be given two plants the school producing the most loofah’s will win the competition. The children can harvest the fruit, dry it out, collect the seeds for next year. The sponges once dry can then be used in the bath or shower.
||We thought we’d add these to the selection; the children should have fun growing this unusual shaped gourd.
We would like each school to ask the children to choose what they would like to grow from the above. We will then deliver the plants to each school after the last frost. By all means feel free to grow other plants that you would like to see in your greenhouses.
The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. The Partnership is led by the Soil Association together with the Focus on Food Campaign, Garden Organic and the Health Education Trust. Their goal is to revolutionise school meals, reconnect young people with where their food comes from and inspire families to cook and grow food. All schools can join the Food for Life Partnership and win awards for good food culture. Visit their website for more information at www.foodforlife.org.uk.
Little Growers Video/Photo Diary:
To help other schools & children & dare I say it the adults too. We would like the children from each school to document what they see, when they see it. Taking photos and or video footage once every couple of weeks will be invaluable for other children to learn from. Please note that consent will be required from the parents of the children, allowing them to have the information added to the Little Growers website.
Little Growers website:
The Little Growers website is now live it can be viewed at www.littlegrowers.com more information will be added as the season progresses.
Little Growers Competition:
As previously mentioned we will be having a competition with the schools, the school growing the most loofahs from two plants will win an AeroGarden worth £130.00. The AeroGarden is a simple to use but very effective herb growing system. It will also show the children how effectively plants can be grown using different techniques. Herbs in the AeroGarden can simply be grown on a window sill all year round. To see the product please visit www.aerogrow.com
As we’ve mentioned in the past, it is important that the parents, families & friends get involved to help Little Growers grow from strength to strength. Anyone buying any of the AutoPot products being used by Little Growers over the value of £30.00, excluding delivery will have 10% of their purchase value transferred into the Little Growers fund. Helping is very simple, visit www.autopot.co.uk place an order over the value of £30.00 & in the comments box add “Little Growers”. 10% will then be transferred to the fund. So that everyone can see how much has been raised a barometer will be added to the Little Growers website. This year there are now seven schools launching Little Growers. Next year with the help from money raised from parents, charities, grants, corporate sponsorship & if possible the lottery. We would like to provide up to 100 schools with all they need to grow in 2009 & up to a 1,000 schools in 2010.
Little Growers Sponsers:
Little Growers & AutoPot would like to thank the following companies for providing the necessary products to help launch the Little Growers scheme with the selected UK schools.
Sponsors & Affilliates:
Click here for more information about the Little Growes' sponsors and affilliates.
In September 2007 AutoPot launched a new idea called “Little Growers”. The idea behind Little Growers is to help educate children, while having fun, in the way that our food grows. AutoPot has now selected seven schools, not five as previously advised, from around the UK to launch the idea for 2008.
The schools selected can be views by clicking here
AutoPot will be providing all the equipment including polytunnels, self watering systems, including the AQUAvalve tray system and the aquaPots, raised beds, soil/compost, liquid fertilizer and plants. The funds raised so far from sales via the on-line shop will be used; the amount raised to date amounts to just under £400. The remainder required will be met by AutoPot and supporters of the Little Growers project.
Each school will be able to choose the plants they would like to grow, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, chillies, carrots, runner beans, garden peas, broccoli, pumpkins, etc. Each school will be provided with a full list, so the children can select what they would like to grow.
To help make the launch of Little Growers even more fun AutoPot will be running a competition with all the schools involved. We have decided to have a loofah competition. Most people if asked would tell you that a loofah is a sponge and comes from the sea. Believe it or not the loofah comes from a plant and is generally grown in the Caribbean. The school that produces the most loofahs from the two plants provided will receive a prize of £100.
To help make Little Growers prosper and more children benefit we would also like the parents of all the children to get involved. The idea is to try and make Little Growers self perpetuating. Each school will be asked to send out a newsletter to all the parents of the seven schools participating in Little Growers, informing them that their children & school will be involved in this project. Every parent then wanting to have their own self watering system at home in their greenhouse can purchase the AutoPot watering systems via the AutoPot on-line shop. Of course we will be attempting to raise funds from grants, the national lottery and corporate sponsorship but the more the parents get involved the better the concept will work.
Remember to add "Little Growers" in the comments box when ordering,
to ensure 10% of your order is donated to the Little Growers fund.