News. Growing Together, Cooking Together

25th of September, 2019

Growing Together, Cooking Together is a year-long programme aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle choices and encouraging pupils to learn in an “outdoor classroom” environment.

To celebrate the culmination of the programme, P7 pupils at Netherthird and Greenmill schools in Cumnock harvested vegetables from their own gardens before preparing a meal of soup, bread, and a treat for their year group.

During the year, pupils learned how to harvest vegetables from the estate’s Kauffman Education Garden and prepare them in the adjacent Pierburg Building to make soup. Activities focused on plant science and growing vegetables, as well as sustainable gardening, encouraging wildlife and protecting soil.

Arianne Knowles, Food, Farming and Horticulture Education Manager for The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House, said: “As the programme progressed, even pupils who came in with very little knowledge or experience of growing their own vegetables or cooking had developed such confidence and expertise in the garden and kitchen environments.”

Bread-baking and front-of-house services were also taught at the estate’s Woodlands training restaurant, and at Valentin’s Education Farm the groups learned about the provenance of food and animal welfare.

Children established their own gardens in the school grounds, planted a range of vegetables, created bug and bee “hotels”, and erected windsocks and butterfly crop protectors with assistance from the staff from The Prince’s Foundation.

“Since learning these skills, I have started helping out with the cooking at home as I really enjoy it. My favourite part of the programme was taking part in the Cook School at Dumfries House as we learnt how to make lots of different things such as butter, bread and soup. I really like cooking as it’s good to make something nice to eat out of lots of different ingredients that can be found in the garden.”- Greenmill Primary School pupil Benjamin Leach.

Arianne said: “Growing Together, Cooking Together has really helped us develop learning among pupils in a wide range of subjects, including wellbeing, science, and technologies. It’s really important that the next generation learns about the seasonality of food and sustainability in the production of it, and we hope that the pupils from Netherthird and Greenmill are able to act upon, and pass on this message.”

To find out more about education programmes please email education@dumfries-house.org

Words: Corinna Cunningham

Imagery: Iain Brown