|Where in the world did carrots come from?
The pupils have been studying different countries, and they already had a good idea about which continent is which, so they were a great bunch to work with. Jade and Tracey have been working on a new resource for this topic, so we were able to help the group to use their knowledge to find out where different fruits and vegetables originated. Some were quite a surprise - for example our garden strawberries are not native, they are in fact from America! Our native strawberries are the small, wild ones. Carrots are also not native, and were first cultivated in Iran and Afganistan, as a purple root - the orange carrot is a Dutch innovation, bred as a homage to their royal family - the House of Orange. We also found out that rhubarb was first cultivated in China. The children really enjoyed going around the gardens looking for clue cards that showed them where different crops originated, which also helped them to learn what different plants look like as they grow.
|Carrots came from the Middle East!
|Looking for clues to where onions originated
(Middle East too!)
One part of the session was devoted to finding out where our food comes from now, which is very easy thanks to supermarket labelling these days. The children looked at a variety of crops and found that quite a few things were from unexpected places. We discovered onions from Mexico and New Zealand, and carrots from Israel amongst others. The findings allowed us to use a map and some string to work out which crop had come the furthest to get here.
|Finding out where our food is grown today
We then had a chance to eat something which had only travelled a few metres, as all the pupils had a taste of freshly picked lettuce from the allotment. Nearly everyone enjoyed it, which was really nice to see!
|Tasting freshly-picked, Zero Food Miles Lettuce
We ended with a Native American story which explains how sweetcorn, beans and pumpkin can help each other if they are planted together. These were the staple foods of many Native Americans, so we grow them together in our "3 Sisters" bed. Another surprise from the research for the story is that French beans are actually American!
|Telling the story of the 3 Sisters