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School Programme

Incredible Edibles for Schools:
Award Winning Health Eating Project

The Award Winning Incredible Edibles Healthy Eating Programme will launch for its 14th year in November 2021. This hands-on SESE linked programme can strengthen geography, science and maths learning as well as giving pupils the tools to make better food choices.

Participating schools are sent free grow packs that contain seeds to grow strawberries, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, chives, carrots and turnips, as well as other materials to help them get started growing!

Schools are asked to submit five simple tasks online to be recognised nationally as a healthy eating school and be in with a chance to win some brilliant prizes.

AGRI-IE-CharlieChive
Free grow pack included
Downloadable logbook as a guide
Supporting worksheets
Completely free to take part
Links to curriculum
Easy to sign-up and complete
5 tasks with prizes to be won

Getting Started & Preparation

Incredible Edibles is a curriculum linked healthy eating and growing initiative for primary school students. It encourages schools across the country to get busy sowing, growing, cooking and eating fruit, vegetables and herbs through a hands-on and engaging learning experience.

The aim of the project is simple:

  • Educate students about growing fruit and vegetables.
  • Increase awareness of food origin, identifying and supporting Irish grown produce, while looking after the environment.
  • Highlight the importance of consuming 5-7 fruit and vegetables daily for a healthy balanced diet.

Incredible Edibles Logbook

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Download your FREE logbook which will enable you and your class to complete and track your progress. Logbooks are also required to be awarded Bronze, Silver, or Gold Level Status.

In the Classroom

In the Garden

Task-1: Learn about Food Origin

This task is aimed to get you and your pupils thinking of where food actually comes from, before it reaches your fridge, the kitchen presses and even the supermarket shelves.

There are a multitude of people behind the process of providing fresh, high quality and affordable food for us to eat every day and different foods have different growing processes and origins.

Such as the humble potato, which is a root vegetable, meaning they need lots of soil and room to grow underground, whereas apples are the fruit of trees, grown in orchards and therefore grow above ground.

Here are some ideas and tips to learn about food origin:

  • Trace your food from fork to farm
  • Visit a local grower or Invite a local grower into your class
  • Zoom a Farmer! (Video chat with a farmer) - contact us if you need help! ·
  • Research what food products Ireland produces.
  • Discover what kind of crops are grown in your county - from Wexford Strawberries to Monaghan Mushrooms!
  • Identify types of food items and if they are grown on trees, plants, vines, bushes or underground
  • Take the level 1 quiz under "School Quiz" and see if you can answer the questions on fruit and veg!
  • You could assign one of our worksheets as a homework task
  • You could make a mini project around it - Make a list of 20 food items in class (or use what's in your lunchbox!) and trace them back to the farm. What did they look like before they were sold in the shop? Ex: picture of cheese - which comes from a cow. Picture of bread - which comes from grain
  • Take some pictures from your fridges/cupboards and guess if they came from a factory (processed) or from the farm!
  • Cut out labels from food at home - stick the labels to a picture of the world map depending on their country of origin and see how far away they have travelled!
  • Pick a food item and get the students to explore the steps taken to bring it from farm to fork. Do they grow on trees, on bushes, underground (root vegetables) or above ground? They can make a poster, write a story or take photos of the food at each stage of the process

Task-2: Identifying Irish

This task follows on from Task 1; Food Origin and teaches pupils how to recognise Irish produce, so we can support circular economies and understand why we may or may not be able to grow certain foods that we know and love.

This task explores the only official stamp of approval for foods produced in Ireland - the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Mark, as well as topics such as seasonality, climates

For Task 2: Identifying Irish, we normally ask you to go to the shops and try to identify Irish potatoes, fruits and herbs as a class or with pupils' parents/guardians at home. To substitute for this during Covid-19, simply ask pupils to explore their own kitchen cupboards and fridges to find some of these marks. You could even count to see how many they can find, or play a game of veggie bingo!

Here are some learning ideas on how you may complete Task 2 during this time:

  • Use the Task 2 questions in the Incredible Edibles logbook to help your students when identifying food items in their homes.
  • Encourage your students to explore, count and send you in at least 1-2 photos of themselves using the table within the logbook to identify Irish produce.
  • You could reinforce the learning of this mark by completing our colouring worksheet "Colour in the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Mark"
  • They could also take a picture of ones that are not Irish and try to describe why - ex: "my bananas came from Africa because we cannot grow bananas in Ireland as it is too cold".
  • You could discuss seasonality and the different climates that allow certain food to grow, and/or reinforce this by completing our "Seasons" worksheet too!
  • Have students complete the fun Veggie/ Supermarket Bingo" activity as a homework assignment. If they have the fruit and veg at home - mark bingo!
  • Discuss why Ireland is known for potatoes - try out the "History - Irish Potato famine" worksheet to learn more!
  • Match the food labels to the map - print a map of the world and stick the food labels onto their country of origin - see how far your food has travelled!
  • Vocabulary words Think about why food labelling is important - particularly food origin. Big vocabulary words to explore here could be: Traceability, Quality, Affordability, Sustainability, Circular Economy, Locality and Community.

Task-3: Growing

This task is probably the most anticipated of all, as it means your grow packs are arriving and it is time to plant your seeds!

Plants need some care and attention to allow them to grow best. Some simple things that plants need to grow are sunshine, water, air and soil. Check out your logbook for more on these four elements that are key to growing a healthy array of 7 a day!

There is an instruction leaflet provided in your grow pack, giving you all the directions you need to get growing! We also have some engaging videos on how to plant each type of seed within the pack below.

Use the Task 3 sections in the Incredible Edibles logbook to help you start the conversation with your students when sowing and growing.

Some important themes and vocabulary terms include: soils, sustainability, Composting and Biodiversity! Check out pages 6 and 7 of the logbook for more information on biodiversity and the importance of pollinators to grow food!!

Remember: The main task is to PLANT YOUR SEEDS! Include a photograph(s) of the class/school planting and growing the seven Incredible Edibles, potatoes, fruit, vegetables and herbs, a description of what was done for the task and examples of student work

Task Ideas:

  • Check out our Soils and Plants PowerPoints on the Science section of our website, to get this conversation started within the classroom!
  • We also have a fun photosynthesis worksheet/experiment to try out too!
  • The easiest thing you can do in your own garden to help improve your soil is to introduce earthworms and practice composting. Earthworms help to move the soil around underground which allows for more air and water to access plant roots. Earthworms also breakdown organic material found in the soil which helps add extra nutrients for the plants to grow better.
  •  You can read all about composting in Task 3 of your logbook. Why not try out our make your own wormery worksheet on our website, under "Science Experiments" here
  • Before planting, map out where you will plant your vegetables and leave a wild space with plenty of room away from your vegetables patch to plant the wildflowers!
  • You could make signs to protect the bees in this area, leave a small dish of water for the butterflies, make a bird feeder or even a bug hotel!
  • Without pollinators, farmers would have no crops to harvest and we would be short of food, Check out this video on what farmers are/can do to protect and enhance biodiversity on their farms across Ireland here as well as how important hedgerows are here

Task-4: Preparing and Cooking - Life Skills

Now that your seeds have been sown and are growing in the garden, it is time to explore the kitchen! The majority of food that we eat is prepared in the kitchen, so it is so important to explore how such food goes from its natural source to a delicious meal - ready to eat!

The best way to do this, is to involve the pupils both at home and in school! By giving pupils even one job - washing or helping to put the ingredients into bowls etc, sparks their interest and creates buy-in from them. If they are actively involved, they will naturally want to see what the end result comes out like!

Fear not if your school has little facilities, that is why we supply extremely simple recipes, such as fruit skewers and smoothies, so that it can be done with ease in such an environment.

If you do have more facilities, you could try out our Paddy Potato Cakes recipe. It is whatever is easiest to manage.

Plus, a big part of this task is to not only complete it in school, but encourage it at home too! We want to bring these healthy habits home, and encourage cooking in the kitchen as a life skill, so perhaps as a homework exercise you could task pupils with making something with their family!

Don't forget to check in on your plants! Make sure they are getting enough water, sunlight and (if needed - especially your root vegetables such as potatoes), top up your soil. You should see your seedlings pop up soon (if not already!).

Take some progress photos and remember to not over water them!

Task-5: Healthy Eating Week

Now that you have made your delicious healthy meals and recipes for Task 4 - Preparing & Cooking, it's time to test yourself and try to increase your daily consumption of fruit and vegetables to complete Task 5!

Did you know? 1 in 5 primary school children in Ireland are overweight or obese (HSE, 2020).

A good place to start (and to fulfil this task!), is to download and photocopy the Incredible Edibles Healthy Eating Diary template here and have your students record the potatoes, fruit and vegetables they eat at school and at home over the course of a week.

While you have started with your diaries, why not take a look at the Food Pyramid PowerPoint on our website and discover topics such as:

  • Take on the 7 a day for 7 days challenge! Again, this is encouraging healthy habits not only in school, but at home too!
  • Explore the Food Groups
  • Portion Recommendations
  • Match the Food to the Food Groups
  • Serving Size Guide
  • Activities - Food Group Bingo
  • You could also learn all about the 7 Incredible Edibles on our Meet the Heroes section! From Cian Carrot, to Saoirse Strawberry - pick and discuss your favourite and why!
  • Another topic and activity you could explore and discuss is eating the rainbow. Eating a variety of fruit & vegetables that are different colours will add a variety of nutrients to your diet!

Did you know? Rich, deep colours tend to provide more nutritional value Why not check out our Eat the Rainbow Chart here and list what colours/how many of each that you eat in a day!

How to Submit

Useful Tips:

  • Remember, your logbook will be due May 20th 2022.
  • Use the rubric to help you with completing all 5 tasks (page-12 of the logbook).
  • Make sure all pictures have descriptions next to them (we want to know what is going on in the pictures).

Postal Submission:

If you are submitting your logbook by post, include a prepaid envelope with your logbook if you would like it to be returned after it has been reviewed.

Address: Agri Aware,
2nd Floor, The Farm Centre,
Old Naas Road,
Bluebell, Dublin 12,
D12 YXW5

Online Submission:

If you are submitting your logbook online, put your pictures on a word document or PowerPoint to cut down on the size of the file upload. You can then upload your files below using our submission form.

School Status Awards and Special Prizes

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School Status Awards

All schools who participate in our Incredible Edibles programme that submit a logbook, will be recognised at a national level as an Incredible Edibles School. Based on a set of guidelines, submitted logbooks will be awarded Bronze, Silver, or Gold Level Status. We will also post these awarding's on our Incredible Edibles website and Agri Aware social media channels, as well as publish these celebrations in the INTO magazine circular and website.

  • Bronze - Complete 1 out of 5 tasks - Certificate for School
  • Silver - Complete 3 out of 5 tasks - Certificate for School
  • Gold - Complete 5 out of 5 tasks - Certificate and Gold Rosette for School

Overall Winners

  • 1st prize - Trip to Airfield (Tour of gardens and farm) and composter for the school
  • 2nd prize - VIP Trip to Country Crest and Greenhouse for the school - Sponsored by Country Crest
  • 3rd prize - Rainwater harvester for the school
  • Best Home-School/Gaelscoil/Special School - Garden tool kit and mesh grow tunnel
  • *NEW* Best Junior Project - Greenhouse for the school

If you submit all 5 tasks by the end of the project date (May 20th), you will be in with a chance to win some prizes above! 10 super projects are shortlisted to win an overall prize.