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Homegrown food

milton lynch students celebrate world food day with local produce

Agriculture is in good hands at the Milton Lynch Primary School.

The school was one of many which recognised World Food Day with activities yesterday. However, the major difference between them and others was that they celebrate food every day of the year.

There was a wide array of dishes, including golden apple pie, cassava hat, gooseberry syrup, and many juices on display yesterday and they were all produced with ingredients grown in the school’s back yard.

Sweet peppers, five fingers, sugar apples, bread fruit, passion fruit, sour sop, golden apples, gooseberry, guava, mangoes, okras, green bananas, cucumbers and other vegetables and fruit were planted by the students and staff at the school.

Teacher, Carol Marie Stoute, told Barbados TODAY that through the initiative of another teacher, Mark Greene, they started to grow some of the produce during the 2011 to 2012 academic year. One of aims of the initiative, she said, was to educate the children on the origin of food since many of them believe it came from the supermarket. They have therefore introduced a from-seed-to-table concept.

“The idea is to get younger children involved in the agricultural process and to encourage their parents to grow food at home and to reduce their supermarket bills by eating what they produce. What we would have done was to involve them in the process at every stage of production.

“We had tree planting and seed planting and we tried to demonstrate the development of crops and plants from the seed to the table. We use these products and fruits in-house. We have teachers who make juices from the fruit and we sell those juices and treats like gooseberry syrup.

“The funds from the sales we use to facilitate other activities in the school so it is an on-going process. We also use some of the produce to facilitate, for example, a breakfast programme that we would be running soon, for special occasions and in the school’s snack shop,” she said.

The school’s World Food Day activities mimicked a farmers’ market and it showed how the cooperative society would have developed, with children at every level of the school participating.

Yesterday’s market was a culmination of a week of activities which began on October 10 with songs, poems and more. The following day, food specialist Marion Hart showed them ways of using cassava flour and there was also a breadfruit roasting-session.

Last Monday, there were demonstrations on the making of cassavas hat and ackee and salt fish. (KC)

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