Over 25,000 primary school children from 1,000 schools took part in a recent Incredible Edibles Keep Well Day, which showcased how children are keeping active in the garden and eating healthy to keep well this spring.
On Thursday, March 25th thousands of students and their teachers joined the two Incredible Edibles Keep Well virtual events, which featured well-known fitness trainer, Ray Lally, aka The Happy Fitness Guy, and horticulturist, Brian McCarthy, who runs the unique Cork Rooftop Farm in Cork City.
The Happy Fitness Guy, who has a slot on RTE’s Today Show, hosted a fun-filled fitness session with children and their teachers and showcased the importance of keeping active in order to look after their physical and emotional well-being.
Then, Brian McCarthy who runs Cork Rooftop Farm in the centre of Cork City, wowed viewers with an engaging tour of his skyline farm and answered all their sowing and growing questions.
The Incredible Edibles Keep Well event was held in conjunction with Healthy Ireland’s Keep Well Campaign, which is part of the Government Plan for Living with Covid-19 – Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021.
The Incredible Edibles programme, sponsored by Bord Bia, Healthy Ireland, Department of Education and Skills, SafeFood and the Irish horticulture industry, communicated and delivered an impactful month-long campaign in March 2021, which tasked primary schools nationwide to showcase how they were keeping well, eating well and being active in the garden.
Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles programme is a free, healthy eating and growing project that has been running in Irish primary schools for 13 years. Over 43,000 primary school children and 1,600 schools are taking part in this year’s programme.
Participating schools receive free grow packs that contain everything teachers need to start their own school garden. Students have showed excellent resilience and creativity in finding unique ways of learning all about food origin and fresh, Irish produce through online teaching, while preparing to plant their own spring gardens in March.
For the month of March, Incredible Edibles delivered educational and fun activities as part of the Keep Well campaign and in line with Task 3 of the project – Planting and Growing.
Schools submitted videos showcasing how they keep active to keep well and participants are currently taking part in art and recipe competitions aimed at highlighting how they are eating well to keep well.
Interactive worksheets featuring key, healthy eating advice from Healthy Ireland were also made available to schools on IncredibleEdibles.ie since January and were a vital resource to students and teachers during the recent online teaching period.
Speaking about the Incredible Edibles Keep Well campaign, The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D. said: “Encouraging children to eat a healthy diet is a key objective of Healthy Ireland and we have been very happy to support the Incredible Edibles programme for many years now.
“This programme lays a foundation for children to adopt healthy behaviours and habits which will last a lifetime, and which they in turn, will hopefully be able to pass on to their own children some day. I want to thank all of the students and teachers who took part in the recent Incredible Edibles Keep Well day and I wish them every success with their projects,” said Minister Feighan.
Healthy Eating Executive at Bord Bia, Dr Elizabeth Finnegan also added: “The pandemic has put the outdoor classroom firmly back in focus as an important educational space for children. We were pleased to see a record number of schools registering to participate in the Incredible Edibles Programme this year. Additionally, people are reaping the wellbeing rewards that gardening and related activities bring.
“The past year has shown us just how important and effective being outside in the fresh air is for maintaining and boosting our physical and mental health. Bord Bia are delighted to be in a position showcase the important work Incredible Edibles is doing in schools as part of this national campaign, promoting the fun and interactive ways children, schools, families and communities can get active in the garden,” said Dr Finnegan.
Agri Aware chairman, Alan Jagoe thanked Healthy Ireland and Bord Bia for the opportunity for Incredible Edibles to be apart of the Keep Well campaign.
“It was an honour for Agri Aware to be invited by Bord Bia to showcase how Irish children are eating well and keeping active in the garden for the month of March, as part of Healthy Ireland’s Keep Well campaign. The Keep Well campaign is in line with the ethos of Incredible Edibles, which has been educating Irish school children about the importance of growing and consuming Irish fruit and vegetables for a healthy, balanced diet for the last 13 years,” said Mr Jagoe.
“On behalf of Agri Aware I would like to thank Bord Bia and Healthy Ireland for the opportunity for Incredible Edibles to play a part in the Keep Well campaign. I would also like to thank teachers and students for getting so involved in the campaign in what has been a challenging time for them due to Covid-19 restrictions over the last year. We hope that the campaign has equipped teachers and students with long-lasting knowledge on how they can keep active and well for years to come, as well as lots of fun memories too.”
You can watch the Incredible Edibles Keep Well event below or here
Environmental conservation is the key focus of this year’s Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk 2021 notes & video series, in conjunction with Teagasc and Kildalton Agricultural College. The series is also supported by the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers Association (IASTA) and Agri Aware patrons.
The free, educational notes and 12-part video series, which features expert Teagasc staff, filmed in Kildalton Agricultural College in Co Kilkenny, will act as an invaluable resource to Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science students and teachers, who have had limited class time in the last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The theme of the virtual series is in line with the current Leaving Cert Agricultural Science project topic -“Supporting conservation of the environment through Irish agricultural practices" - and features in depth talks and demonstrations from expert Teagasc staff based in Kildalton Agricultural College.
The talks will cover a range of curriculum linked topics from grassland management to anti-microbial resistance, as well as providing a real-life insight into the practicalities of modern, Irish farming. The notes also cover the benefits of conservation and how Irish farmers are working towards enhancing conservation on their farms.
Over 460 Agricultural Science teachers and 17,000 Agricultural Science students nationwide have already signed up to receive the free video resources, which also include free notes that align with the new curriculum and focus on themes such as conservation and sustainability.
The video series is in replacement of Agri Aware’s flagship Farm Walk and Talk physical event series, which usually takes place each spring and welcomes thousands of students and teachers but due to Covid-19 restrictions this year, this was not possible.
Speaking about the Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk 2021 video series, Agri Aware chairman, Alan Jagoe stated: “We are delighted to present this Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk video series supported by Teagasc and aimed at supporting Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science students and teachers, who have had a challenging year with limited classes and access to farms due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The videos will give students who do not live on farms an opportunity to gain a real insight into Irish agriculture and will also showcase the many positive environmental practises Irish farmers are implementing every day on their farms.
“On behalf of Agri Aware I would like to thank Teagasc and Kildalton Agricultural college for their support in creating this video series and for providing their valued knowledge and expertise,” said Mr Jagoe.
Kildalton Agricultural College Principal, Tim Ashmore also added: “Teagasc Kildalton College are delighted to work in conjunction with Agri Aware to produce this series of short educational videos which will help to replace the Farm Walk & Talk events which unfortunately could not go ahead this year.
“These videos were developed by college staff in Kildalton to help provide students with an insight into the key learning outcomes on the Leaving Certificate Agricultural science syllabus. They provide a visual link between Agricultural Science and practical agriculture. We look forward to welcoming secondary schools back to Kildalton in the near future,” said Mr Ashmore.
The videos will be released on Agri Aware’s and Teagasc’s social media all this week, but all 12 videos are available to view here
Over 200 viewers tuned in live to watch the second #AgCredible Instagram Live event with performance nutritionist, Daniel Davey and beef farmer, John Heslin on Thursday March 25th.
John, who also works with MSD Animal Health and plays football with Co Westmeath cooked beef burgers guided by the skills of well-known performance nutrionist, Daniel Davey.
The pair talked about the importance of buying local, family farming and the nutritional qualities associated with eating meat to stay healthy and fit.
The event has been watched back over 4,500 times on Agri Aware’s Instagram and follows on from our first AgCredible Instagram Live event with Davey and Agri Aware chairman, Alan Jagoe in February.
Stay tuned for further event announcements with Daniel in April!
You can watch back on the event with Daniel and John here - https://www.instagram.com/p/CM0FOCvnFHe/
Agri Aware and UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science have come to the assistance of Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science students by developing a new curriculum-linked experiment video series to aid them in their studies. This is in response to the challenges of school closures and changes to the Agricultural Science curriculum.
The Essential Experiments series contains at least 11 experiments that cover mandatory, Leaving Cert Agricultural Science experiment topics such as soils, milk quality and crop science.
The experiments in the videos were carried out by UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science professors and staff, who have a wealth of in-depth knowledge and experience working at the forefront of the agriculture and food science sectors.
The UCD staff have received guidance from the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers Association (IASTA) on how best to carry out the experiments in order to fit the needs of students and teachers, who have missed out on vital lab time as a result of Covid-19 restrictions over the last 12 months.
The videos will be shared with Leaving Cert Agricultural Science teachers nationwide, who can then share them with their students and they will also be made available for free on Agri Aware’s Youtube and social media platforms.
Speaking about the Essential Experiments video series, Agri Aware Chairman, Alan Jagoe stated:
“We are delighted to partner with UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science for this Essential Experiments video series. The videos come at a time where teachers and students are in real need of extra, digital resources as schools were closed for over two months this year and over three months last year.
“Current Leaving Cert students and teachers have missed out on important class and lab time, so we hope that these videos will help bring the lab experience alive for students and act as an invaluable resource for them in the run up to their Leaving Cert exam,” said Mr Jagoe.
Commenting on the new video initiative, Professor Alexander Evans, Dean of Agriculture and Head of UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science said: "We are delighted to support our hard-working teachers and students studying Agricultural Science by partnering with Agri Aware and developing a selection of relevant experiments to support learning.
“Experimentation, observation, interpretation and explanation are critical parts of the scientific process and we look forward to meeting the agricultural scientists and leaders of the future,” said Professor Evans.
IASTA PRO, Johnny Gleeson thanked Agri Aware and UCD for the creation of the Essential Experiments video series which he said will be a huge help to Agricultural Science students and teachers nationwide.
“It is great that Agri Aware and UCD have been able to come together to create these wonderful resources that will help teachers and students in years to come, not only this year where access to labs has been an issue but going forward they are a great resource to have to accompany the new Agricultural Science course,” said Mr Gleeson.
Check out the Essential Experiment videos here. More videos will be added to the Agri Aware YouTube Channel over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out on Agri Aware and UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science’s social media platforms for details.
Follow @AgriAware on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Follow @UCDAgFood on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.