Little Growers News – 2010

Healthy Comfort Food for the winter months

Harvest time has arrived and autumn is well underway, so try the below recipe for a warming, comforting food that is packed full of their daily vegetables they've grown themselves.

Smashing Vegetable Hash

This quick and filling stir-fry with beans for protein and corn and squash providing colourful vitamins, it's a good start to the day. It's a bit like a seasonal Bubble & Squeak. As it's made with just 1 tbsp olive oil for two people, it's low fat and packed with vegetables – get your 'five a day' in one bowl!

You need:

• 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed into 1" pieces
• 1 cup squash cubes
• 1 cup fresh borlotti beans (or frozen soya beans)
• 1tsp vegetable stock powder
• 2 cobs of sweetcorn
• 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
• 1tbsp olive oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped finely
• 2-3 tomatoes
• 250g spinach, washed, with big stems removed
• Salt and pepper
• Optional: 2oz cheddar cheese, grated

What to do: Cut the kernels from the sweetcorn and set aside. First, part boil the potatoes, squash and borlotti beans in a pan of water with 1 tsp bouillon (vegetable stock) dissolved in it. Bring to the boil and set the timer for 4 minutes, add the corn and give the pan another 2 minutes, then drain them and set aside.

Heat a large wok with the olive oil, then toss in the onion and rosemary. Stir for a minute before adding the drained vegetables and the mushrooms, stirring over a high heat to quickly brown them. Fry briskly for 5 minutes or until you start getting golden bits. Now taste and season. Add the chopped tomatoes and spinach, and sizzle until the spinach has just wilted. Divide between two large, heated plates. If liked, sprinkle with cheese and put under a grill to melt it.


Little Growers reaches South Africa

The Little Growers concept has now been adopted in Soweto which is the biggest township area in South Africa. Pumellela Training center for the Handicapped, is the base for the new growing and gardening project in Soweto. The children are aged from 6 - 21 and there are approximately 800 pupils.  The launch day for the Little Growers project was on the 23rd September which was National planting day.  Soweto TV and the Sowetan newspaper were present and documented the opening of the project.  As the photographs show the project is off to a great start, with the team over in Soweto showing bundles of motivation and hands on involvement.

Little Growers reaches South Africa

We will be keeping you up to date on their progress via the website and newsletter.


Little Growers Animation

Explore in 3D!

Little Growers have commissioned a step-by-step animation that takes you through a simple guide of how to set up an entire greenhouse and raised bed irrigation growing project.  The animation shows the exact equipment schools receive when they become involved in Little Growers and how to get started with building your project.  We hope the animation will make it simpler and easy for schools to set up their equipment and act as a useful resource for potential new schools interested in our work

View the animation here at the Little Growers Website


Useful partnership sites


Here at Little Growers we have been busy building partnerships with other horticultural organisations and charities over the last few months.  These can be viewed on the website by clicking through to the Afilliates section. Coming soon to the Little Growers website is a 'Useful Websites' area where you can find sites to gain helpful information for your growing projects.

Dig In

The Dig In website is designed to help with growing your own fruit and veg, with simple, easy to follow advice on everything related to growing.  Whether about preserving your summer crops, what to sow in the coming weeks or asking their experts your gardening queries.

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening aims to encourage and support schools to develop and actively use a school garden.  As part of the campaign they provide teachers with resources through this website and an extensive programme of CPD/Teacher training days.  Once you have signed up for the campaign you will have access to the benchmark scheme and lots of resources that are linked to it.  Resources include lesson plans, gardening advice, seasonal activities and heaps more.  The more you develop your school garden the higher up the benchmark scheme you can progress and be rewarded for your growing commitments.

Food for Life

The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. They are revolutionising school meals, reconnecting children and young people with where their food comes from, and inspiring families to grow and cook food.


RHS Case Study

Little Growers recently featured on the RHS website in their case studies section.  The profile featured is one of our extremely proactive schools, Ysygol Gogarth in Conwy, Wales.  Jon Goodwin, the project co-ordinator is extremely proactive and has achieved great results at the school since Little Growers began. The school has a wide spectrum of activities involved with their growing project including cooking and selling in their café and preparing vegetable boxes for the local community.

To find out more and view the great case study of Ysgol Gogarth school please click here


The Little Growers Online Community

The Little Growers Online Community will now be coming into full effect as the children have returned from their holidays and start to get stuck in to charting their progress on their school area within the Little Growers Online community.  We have been working with our web designer to develop a points system that will reward schools when they post their blog updates, for every update post they will be awarded chillies, which once they have collected certain numbers they can exchange them for free growing equipment.  So watch this space for a hive of activity on the Little Growers Online community in the coming months and updates from our school projects around the world.  Remember chillies (points) mean prizes!


Little Growers staff school visits

Katie and Heather recently set up two of the new Little Growers projects with their growing equipment start up kits, helping the teachers and children get to grips with the irrigation systems and begin growing.

Luckily the sun was out for both visits and the schools are now ready to grow and harvest their crops later on in the year!


New Online Community for Little Growers Schools

Children Blogging

We are proud to introduce a new Online Community for the Little Growers, allowing the teachers and children to get blogging and tell the world of their progress! The schools will be able to load diary entries, videos and photographs of their progress so that they are able to document their hard work in the growing schemes. There is also a message feature so that schools can share their successes and mistakes with one and other, to encourage partnership working of Little Growers schools in the same area. Little Growers staff will also be able to blog helpful hints, tips and updates for the schools to read and comment on.
Finally there will be a reward scheme for proactive bloggers, with each chilli on their page being worth 5 blogs, the more chilies you earn the more rewards the school gains for their growing project! Happy Blogging!


6 New Schools to Join Little Growers

Little Growers are pleased to announce a new round of schools to be set up with Little Growers projects and horticultural equipment in the coming weeks. We have now selected the six schools and liaised with the staff to establish what equipment will best compliment each school's circumstances and what will best suit the children to be involved. We will be sending out the equipment in the next week so watch this space for updates and photographs of our six new school projects!

1) St John The Baptist Primary School, Sussex
Visit this school

St John's are extremely keen to establish a growing project for their students, we have been working with Jill the eco club teacher to arrange what set up would best suit the school. St John's will receive a polytunnel equipped with irrigation systems, pots, liquid feed, seeds and Little Growers learning resources along with an AQUA box to irrigate one of their raised beds. They can then begin their growing project with all the necessary tools they require.

4) Gellifaelog Primary School, Merthyr Tydfil
Visit this school

Gellifaelog is a Development Trust school, we introduced their work in the last newsletter. We are extremely excited about working with this school to gain a truly embedded horticultural project. We will be providing the school with a polytunnel equipped with irrigation systems, pots, liquid feed, seeds and Little Growers learning resources.

2) Petersgate Infant School, Hampshire
Visit this school

Petersgate already have ten raised beds and a greenhouse, however they lack an efficient watering system and maintenance of their current planting areas. Little Growers are therefore providing them with 11 2 Pot Extension kits for their greenhouse and 3 AQUAboxes to irrigate their raised beds. The irrigation equipment will allow the children to grow a range of plants that will be fully supported with sufficient water and liquid feed over the summer holidays, ensuring the children return from the summer break with their well nurtured crops healthy and full of life.

5) Hurst Lodge, Surrey
Visit this school

Hurst Lodge are establishing an exciting smallholding scheme at the school that will have chickens, ducks and other livestock alongside a sustainable play area and tree house. Little Growers are working with Hurst Lodge to provide the horticultural aspect of their smallholding project. The Eden project will also be involved with Eden members visiting and supporting the school throughout the project. Little Growers' longstanding sponsor; AutoPot have had a live exhibit at Eden for some years now so we are extremely excited about collaborating with both Eden and Hurst Lodge. The school has keen aims for the smallholding project and Little Growers scheme to become a core part of cross curricular learning providing the children with a hands on and memorable learning experience in sustainable living.
Hurst Lodge have just ordered a 16x42ft polytunnel which will act as the starting point to their large-scale horticultural project, beginning in September.

3) Bramfield CEVC Primary School, Suffolk
Visit this school

Bramfield is an Eastfeast school, as we mentioned in the last newsletter Little Growers are working in collaboration with EastFeast, to run a pilot scheme. By collaborating with Eastfeast schools Little Growers are aiming to increase the amount the schools and children can gain from their horticultural project. If we are successful with Local Food funding we will work in further partnership with Eastfeast to set up Little Growers projects at more of their schools across East Anglia.

6) Bagshot School, Surrey
Visit this school

Bagshot school currently have two raised beds and are eager to expand their growing capabilities in school. The head teacher, Jane contacted Little Growers as a result of her husband using the AutoPot irrigation systems at home. Heather will be visiting Bagshot school to discuss where is the best place within the grounds for the Little Growers equipment, with the aim of providing Bagshot with a full polytunnel set up in the coming weeks.


A Huge Thank you to Unwin Seeds

Little Growers Seeds - Available at Unwins

Everyone at Little Growers would like to say a huge thank you to Unwins seeds for providing us with a vast range of seeds for our up and coming 6 new schools. We received the seeds this week and have everything from basil to pumpkin seeds! The Unwins seed range for kids is named, Little Growers and they kindly donate seeds to all of our schools free of charge. To see more of the Little Growers seed range click here.


Growing Schools Latest News

Growing Schools logoGrowing Schools is a government funded horticultural organisation to get children back to growing across the UK. Little Growers has been in contact with Growing Schools for some time as they are an extremely helpful resource and proactive organisation. Their latest newsletter was particularly interesting, we recommend you take a read by clicking here. You can also sign up to their newsletter by clicking here. Please do take a look and we hope you find it helpful!

Last but not least we have sent off our final application for the last stage of Local Food funding, so fingers crossed in the coming months we will be sharing the news of the next venture for Little Growers of setting up 120 schools across England...


Summer Recipe

Below is a healthy and energising recipe for a fruit smoothie to try now the summer is fast approaching and local fruits will be in abundance.
Smoothies are a great way for kids to have some of their five fruit and veg a day and are quick and easy to prepare. You don’t have to follow the recipe below you can have fun trying out different combinations using what you’ve grown in the garden, enjoy!

Banana Strawberry Smoothie recipe

Each portion supplies 2 of your
recommended 5-a-day.


  • 1 Large Banana
  • 200g/7oz Strawberries
  • 240ml/8fl.oz Vanilla Yoghurt
  • 120ml/4fl.oz Milk
  • 4 large Ice Cubes, crushed

Instructions: Place all of the Ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.


A warm welcome to Penistone Infants School

Little Growers is extremely pleased to announce the addition of a new school to our portfolio: Penistone Infants school in Sheffield is coming on board in the next month due to a generous donation from their PTA fund to begin a horticultural project. We were contacted by the school’s eco club volunteer Rebecca who had heard of the us through our article in the Allotment Association Magazine and was keen for Penistone school to become part of Little Growers. The school had previously struggled with their growing initiatives due to poor outdoor soil conditions and difficulty with growing within the classroom. We are therefore providing them with a polytunnel, irrigation systems and timber raised beds to overcome their prior difficulties and begin their hands on learning this summer. We will be sure to upload photographs and feedback from the children once Little Growers Penistone is up and running.


Little Growers Maldives

In the last newsletter we informed you of the addition of 36 Little Growers schools in the Maldives each with an easy2grow System to start their horticultural schemes. We have been in regular contact with the project manager in the Maldives in terms of partnership working, guidance and helpful tips from Little Growers in the UK.

At present the kits are on their way to the Maldives so watch this space for photos, videos and updates when the shipment arrives and the growing begins!


New Little Growers schools to be set up for summer!

Little Growers is extremely pleased to announce we are working with six new schools across the UK in the summer term.  We have decided to set up a new round of schools whilst awaiting full funding for our next round of 120 schools later on in the year.  The schools will be provided with the Little Growers set up including a ploytunnel, AutoPot irrigation systems, Unwins Little Growers seeds and much more.  In order for the schools to be as successful as possible Little Growers is partnering with three different organisations:


Eastfeast is a team of professional gardeners, artists and teachers that help schools deliver more effective learning based on working a school allotment through the seasons, culminating in a community feast. They work with students and teachers to develop the outdoor classroom, cultivating shared learning about the world in which we live, through food and art. We are extremely excited at Little Growers to be working with the Eastfeast team, who we met at the annual Growing Schools Conference earlier in the year. We hope that this initial Eastfeast and Little Growers partnership trialed in one school can be expanded into several schools when we receive the next round of funding. To learn more about Eastfeast’s work please click here.

Open Futures

Open Futures is a skills and enquiry-based curriculum development programme, linking learning and life. It was developed to help children discover and develop practical skills, personal interests and values, which will contribute to their education and help to enhance their adult lives. The Open Futures curriculum focuses on four areas: growit, cookit, filmit and askit. The Little Growers project will be integrated within all four areas with its rots within the growit aspect for the school but with connections to all four areas. Little Growers plans to work with four Open Futures schools to begin with, two within the South of England and two in the North of England. To find out more information of the Open Futures program, please click here.

3Gs Development Trust Wales

The Development Trust is made up of representatives of local Tenants and Residents boards, individual members of the community along with professionals. The 3G's Development Trust is a community regeneration organisation that serves Gurnos, Galon Uchaf and Penydarren in Merthyr Tydfil. The 3G's is a community owned and community led organization set up so that community members can have a voice in their community. We are extremely keen to work alongside the 3Gs Development Trust due to its long-term experience and the strong relationships it has built within its community, with previous projects including Film, cooking and Health projects. Little Growers is setting up one school within the area for this term, with hopes to expand across the community when we receive funding. To find out more about the Trusts work please click here


Grow Your Own Planner

Coming soon to the Little Growers website will be a comprehensive annual growing planner for a range of crops.  The planner will have information on what to grow, when to grow and how best to undertake horticultural projects year round and will be available at the Downloads Area of the website.  This will act as an ongoing information resource for schools and will be updated regularly by us with tips and advice on growing.


The Maldives & Little Growers

Little Growers is pleased to announce the addition of a new international project to its portfolio.  We are setting up 36 schools in the Maldives with an easy2grow System to start their horticultural schemes.  This amazing addition to the Little Growers family will be funded by the Little Growers Fund, which is a result of AutoPot donating 10% of all online sales to us.  So a huge thank you to AutoPot and their customers for their continual generosity and support.  We will run a competition for all schools involved which will judge who grows the best plants and the best drawings of their horticultural set ups.


Thailand School Update

In the last newsletter we bought you news of Little Growers establishing a project in Klaeng, 200km east of Bangkok. Rungnapapittaya school teaches around 2,000 children from 3 to 16 years old.  The project is going well as you can see from the photos with the children gaining a great deal from the project, encompassing drawing the produce, harvesting and using the crops in school meals.  A variety of plants are being nurtured by the school children including; Thai basil, chilly plants and lemon plants.


National Allotment Association Partnership

National Allotment Association PartnershipLittle Growers is pleased to announce working in partnership with the Allotment Association to recruit volunteers for our community horticulture networks. By working together we hope to establish a nationwide volunteer network, which would provide the schools with hands on help from enthusiastic and knowledgeable gardeners. We recently published an article in the National Allotment Association Magazine to recruit volunteers and have already begun recruiting members.

More information can be found at

Click the article image to the left or here to view the full version

If you are interested in joining please contact


Growing Schools Conference

Little Growers attended the annual Growing Schools Conference on 25th March at Oxford Botanic Gardens.  We both visited and exhibited at the conference with great success.  We met schools from across the country that showed keen interest in becoming part of our scheme, as well as other horticultural organisations with great potential for future partnership working.  Growing Schools is a government scheme that facilitates children to become involved in gardening in a range of ways including acting as a teaching resource for schools across the UK.

To find out more click here or visit


Local Food meeting

Local FoodLittle Growers is now through to the final stage of the Local Food Fund, as we reported in the last newsletter. We recently had a meeting with our Local Food advisor to help compose the strongest application, so fingers crossed that our application will make it over this final hurdle and Little Growers can expand into our next phase of setting up 120 schools across the UK.

Whilst meeting with our adviser we visited the AutoPot trial site in Oxford, which acts as a show site for the irrigation systems that are used in Little Growers schools. AutoPot is our longstanding sponsor and has provided ongoing and invaluable support to Little Growers since the start. The photographs below show the trial site in its early stages and we will keep you updated on developments and findings at the farm. Little Growers is also exploring the possibility of school visits to the trial site to facilitate educational days in horticulture for children across the UK. This idea is however in the very early stages, but we will be sure to keep you updated on its progress.

To find out more visit


Education Show 2010

We recently attended the annual Education Show at the NEC, Birmingham.  It was a fruitful day and we gained a great insight into what is happening within the UK schooling sphere at present. Little Growers made several new contacts and possible new partnerships so watch this space…

More information can be found at


Little Growers Meetings

Growing Schools - A Government SchemeLittle Growers has been busy with meetings since the last newsletter.

We are now working with the government scheme Growing Schools to roll out Little Growers throughout the UK and facilitate partnership working with other horticultural organisations to make a real difference to children’s involvement in horticulture and healthy eating. We are also working with the Allotment Association to create a volunteer network to support schools and enable the whole community to get involved with growing fresh produce. We have also had a meeting with Lord Davies secretaries to discuss our scheme and how Little Growers can expand in the UK. So watch this space!


An Update on Funding

Local Food logo

Little Growers is making progress in our funding bids. We are now through to the final stage for the Local Food Grants so fingers crossed by the new school year 120 additional schools with be setting up Little Growers growing initiatives all over the UK. Our application for Awards for All is also being considered and we should find out if we are successful in the next month.


Thailand School - Rungnapapittaya

Thailand School - RungnapapittayaLittle Growers is now spreading to Thailand!

We have recently supplied easy2grow Kits and 2Pot Extension Kits to a school in Klaeng, 200km east of Bangkok. Rungnapapittaya school teaches around 2,000 children from 3 to 16 years old.
We are excited about the launch of Little Growers at this school. We will of course add photos to the Little Growers website when they are available to see.

Lets hope in time many more schools in the Kingdom of Thailand will see the benefits of using the AutoPot technology within a school enviroment.


Little Growers UK Schools - 2010

Little Josh
The following schools have joined the Little Growers Charity and have been provided with full start-up kits.
You may click the green icon beside school names to visit the Little Growers School Community Profile.

Further updates and information will be added to this area shortly.

Visit this school at the Online CommunitySt. John The Baptist Primary School, Sussex
St John The Baptist Primary School, School Hill, Findon, BN14 8TR

Visit this school at the Online CommunityPetersgate Infant School
Petersgate Infant School, Green Lane, Clanfield,Waterlooville. PO8 0JU

Visit this school at the Online CommunityBramfield School
Bramfield CEVC Primary School, Bridge Street, Bramfield, Halesworth, Suffolk

Visit this school at the Online CommunityGellifaelog Primary School
Gellifaelog Primary School, Penydarren, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 9TJ

Visit this school at the Online CommunityBagshot School
Bagshot School, School Lane, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5BP

Visit this school at the Online CommunityHurst Lodge School
Hurst Lodge, Bagshot Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 9JU

Visit this school at the Online CommunitySt John the Baptist CE (VC) Infant School
Chapelfield Lane, Penistone, Sheffield S36 6FS


Little Growers International Schools - 2010

The following international schools have joined the Little Growers Charity and have been provided with full start-up kits.

You may click the green icon beside school names to visit their Little Growers Online Community profile.

Sagami Womens University Elementary School, Japan

Visit this school at the Online CommunityNanasawa Kibounooka School, Japan

Visit this school at the Online CommunityRungnapa School, Klaeng, Thailand

Maldives Schools - Coming Soon!