PUPILS from a Yorkshire Dales school are to organise and run their own farmers’ market, it has been announced.
Following the successful launch of the School Farmers’ Markets project in other areas of the country, children Embsay Primary School, near Skipton, will be participating in a project run by the Soil Association and funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Sustainable Development Fund.
On Wednesday the school will be providing members of the community with the chance to purchase fresh food from a range of local food producers.
Organic body the Soil Association is supporting a total of six schools across the Dales to set up farmers’ markets in their school halls, with the markets being organised entirely by pupils.
It forms part of their wider Food for Life Partnership project that is transforming school food culture across the country.
Barbara Chrisp, the Soil Association’s school farmers’ market co-ordinator commented on the project: “After excellent outcomes in other parts of the country, we are excited to be building on the successes of the project to support local schools, producers and communities in the Yorkshire Dales.
“Pupils from Embsay Primary have already been learning about farming and have done a cooking session with the Dales Countryside Museum in preparation for their markets.
“The project is also helping to provide new markets for local producers, as well as giving the local community additional opportunities to buy affordable and fresh local produce.”
In the classroom, pupils have applied their enterprise skills to establish regular markets – selling their own school-grown produce as well as that from local producers.
As well as providing opportunities for pupils to learn about food and farming, the programme helps support small, local producers through the school markets and provides the opportunity for members of the school and wider community to buy local, fresh and seasonal produce and meet the farmers behind the food.
Pupils are involved in running the markets from start to finish. They take responsibility for what happens and the decisions are theirs – enabling schools to communicate the importance of sustainably-produced local food and providing a context for looking at food chain issues and understanding where food comes from. Money raised from producer stall fees and the sale of produce made/grown by the school will go towards further farm visits or food education in their school.
Thea Walker from Embsay Primary School added: “From day one the children have been very excited about the idea of holding their own farmers’ market in school and have come up with a multitude of ideas for encouraging their parents and local community to pop along to the event.
“We are a school who places a great deal of importance on our children learning outside the classroom across the whole curriculum.
“The children’s direct involvement in growing their own food is an important element of their learning.”