Pupils from Bishop’s Waltham Junior School were given the opportunity to try locally grown and produced food last week during a special workshop run by local Home Economist, Davina Tibbetts and supported by The Southern Co-operative.
Isle of Wight tomatoes, Swanmore apple juice, Lyburn cheese and Test Valley Chalk Stream hot smoked trout were all on the menu for the year 5 and year 6 students, although not as a school dinner!
Year 5 teacher, Mrs Peach was understandably impressed when her students were willing to try some of the more adult flavours, such as goat’s cheese, mackerel pate and smoked trout. There was no hesitation from any of the pupils when offered the chance to sample an English strawberry, donated by the local green grocer, Hylands.
Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager for The Southern Co-operative’s Local Flavours range, said: “Workshops such as these is a great way to introduce children to the fabulous food that is grown and made here in Hampshire, inspiring them to learn to cook and gain an important life skill too; something we fully support and want to encourage.”
As well as the tastings, the children explored food miles, comparing the distance travelled by a Brazilian pineapple with that of a strawberry from just along the road in Durley. They also discovered what impact food miles could have on the environment as well as the benefits of supporting local producers.
Another aim of the workshop was to inspire the children to design a “salad in a jar” as part of a cookery competition. Working in pairs, the children will decide on the ingredients, draw their salad, and come up with an idea of savoury bread to accompany it.
Two pairs from each year group will be shortlisted and asked to make their salad and bake their bread at the competition final at Swanmore College at the end of the month. To get ideas for their menus, the children have been encouraged to go into Bishop’s Waltham High Street and find out what is on offer in their local shops.
Davina said: “It’s all about inspiring young people to explore food, where food comes from, and give them the opportunity to taste food that is grown and prepared right here on their doorsteps.”
The scheme has been supported by The Southern Co-operative through a grant awarded to Winchester City Council’s Market Towns Development project. It forms part of a wider programme of activities designed to encourage local people to use their local shops and increase visitor numbers.