Leyland cookery kids

PUBLISHED: 08:37 06 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:40 20 February 2013

Leyland cookery kids

Leyland cookery kids

Cookery editor Philippa James joins a scheme which gets kids and adults growing vegetables, and eating them

Ive changed in some strange places but few have been stranger than the middle of The Giant Veggie Patchs eco toilet in Leyland.

What a cracking project, started by South Ribble Borough Councils Regeneration Team, led by Jo Staines and supported by a willing land army of volunteers, with Sally MacGregor heading up the steering group. Sited in an area of the town which has its own challenges is a large plot of land, formerly under-used and derelict, which is now home to a community food growing project.

As well as user-friendly raised beds, the rest of the extensive plot is a growing area, inclusive, and accessible, for all local residents and volunteers to become involved in nurturing a huge range of fruit, vegetables and herbs.

The idea is that with new knowledge and inspiration, skills learned here will be taken back and used in peoples own gardens or allotments. Recycling, composting and making use of materials that, otherwise, may be discarded is also a priority. Theres also a meeting hut and theres to be a wildlife pond, bog area and beehives, too.

As I arrived at the launch and was unpacking my car, I was flanked by a crowd of youngsters, curious as to what was going on in the garden. They were all keen to help, and as my hob, pans and assorted equipment was wheel-barrowed in, to make some soup for the volunteers and to show what could be made later in the year from the produce they were growing, there was no shortage of little pairs of hands wanting to help.

Other children worked enthusiastically, too - scrubbing, peeling and chopping vegetables, on improvised work surfaces, with a real team effort on soup production.

In the giant poly-tunnel there were kids activities, linking growing with art, painting pots and the like. I was pleased to hear there will be specially designated areas for the children to grow their own produce, reminding me of the numerous domestic moves when I was a girl, where, at each new house my first request would be: Where can I have my little garden?

Some of the items grown here were displayed at this years Tatton Park Flower Show and I am delighted to be involved with this exciting venture. Ill be returning to help with soup, jam and chutney making and hopefully some childrens food workshops, too, in the autumn.

If you have any resources which the project may be able to use (they are desperate for water-butts and an irrigation system) or if youd like to support or get involved, contact jstaines@southribble.gov.uk and for more information go to giantveggiepatch.weebly.com/index.html

Latest from the Lancashire Life