Social enterprise and charity, Edinburgh Community Food, which uses food to tackle health inequalities, have teamed up with Veg Power UK to deliver ‘Grow Strong’, a pilot project across Edinburgh, encouraging children to grow food.

38 Edinburgh primary schools and local families have started to receive their Grow Packs which include everything they need to raise Cherry Tomatoes. The Packs include propagators, seeds and compost sponsored by Unwins Seeds, as well as a Grow Strong wall chart bursting with information to help them grow their tomato plants.

Parsons Green Primary School will be kick starting their own tomato journey by sowing their seeds with the help of Jock Tamson’s Gairden in Duddingston.

Former Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins, will be joining Edinburgh’s children by growing his own tomato plant. He has plenty of tips and vlogs to help guide the little growers and their helpers.

He said, “There is nothing like seeing the miracle of a tiny seed emerge from the soil, grow, bloom and produce fresh food. When you have grown once, you will want to grow for a lifetime. Knowing how to grow food is not just amazing fun, it’s also a life skill and one our children should not be without.”

Once the cherry tomatoes are ready to harvest the little growers will head to the kitchen to turn their tomatoes into a delicious pasta sauce.

According to Veg Power UK, 80% of children are not eating enough vegetables. Learning about where food comes from is not just good for healthy eating, it’s important to develop children’s understanding of the food chain, sustainability and the environment.

Veg Power’s Chief Executive Dan Parker said, “Veg Power is committed to increasing the UK’s veg consumption and the Grow Strong project in which children will grow tomatoes from seed is a fun initiative that not only teaches them about food systems and healthy eating but brings together an alliance of local government, business, community and schools.”

The learning will continue throughout the Summer with a number of exciting events for children taking place in Edinburgh’s Community Gardens, which will help them on their Grow Strong journey and ensure the cherry tomatoes make a tasty pasta sauce.

With the rising cost of living, the Grow Strong project is all about helping children and families enjoy delicious, fresh, healthy food working towards making sure everyone in Edinburgh has access to an affordable, healthy diet.

People across Edinburgh are invited to join in the fun by growing their own cherry tomato plants. Share your Tomato Adventure using #TOMTASTIC.

Grow Strong Updates will be available here: www.edinburghcommunityfood.org.uk/grow-strong

Grow Strong is supported by Veg Power UK, Edible Edinburgh, The City of Edinburgh Council, Unwins Seeds, Westland Horticulture and The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.