In March 2011 eight local Primary schools brought approximately 150 children to the Showground to take part in a Planting Day. They planted potatoes as part of the Potato Council's annual Potato Challenge for Schools. The children also learned about the history of the potato crisp, took part in a blind crisp tasting, decorated potato cakes, had the opportunity to taste a chocolate cake which was made from potatoes and watched a cooking demonstration for Potato Salad. The whole experience was repeated the following day at Langley Academy in Slough, with ten Primary schools local to the area attending, approximately 250 children. In June the children returned to the Showground to harvest their crops. Before doing so they made their own potato salad and then great excitement was caused as they discovered the hidden crops in their grow bags. Cold Ash St Marks Primary School and Purley Infant School were awarded prizes for producing the heaviest yields. The following day in Slough, the two attending classes from St Mary's Primary School swept the board with their crops. A grant from the Sustainable Food and Farming Board meant this project was run without passing on any costs to the participating schools. It was also made possible thanks to the team of willing volunteers from the NDAS, farmers Graham Nichols and Roger Hitchings, the staff and pupils at Langley Academy and Hilliers Garden Centre who donated compost.
If you would like your students to take part in next year's Challenge, 2013, or would like more information about the Challenge please contact the Education Officer at the Showground.
Autumn Harvest Celebration Day
A Beautiful autumn day in early October saw five schools come to the Showground for a day packed full of seasonal activities.
the morning the pupils took part in apple bobbing; paper making; had a demonstration of cooking apple crumble and pumpkin soup, along with taster; enjoyed hearing stories and poems on an apple them; had talks on growing apples from Cross Lane's Fruit Farm (Mapledurham)and on growing pumpkins and gourds from Cobb's Farm (Hungerford). After lunch weighing took place of the pumpkins grown by the schools with seeds provided by Suttons.
Basildon Primary School received a prize for growing the heaviest pumpkin, weighing over 34 kg. Schools were then given an apple sapling, donated by Penwoods Nurseries, to plant in their school garden