TV cook Donal Skehan has launched the second annual sow & grow campaign.
The campaign, in association with innocent drinks and GIY, aims to get children around the country sowing and growing in classrooms and youth groups through a fun, free, learning experience.
Skehan spoke to RTÉ TEN about the campaign, saying: "It’s a fantastic campaign to get kids into where their food comes from and the whole campaign is about teaching kids how to grow their own vegetables.
"It really is a wonderfully educational thing for them to be a part of. We’ve had great results with them last year, they really got into the whole idea of growing their own and eating what they’ve produced as well."
Teachers and youth group leaders can apply online at www.innocentdrinks.ie/sowandgrow for a sow & grow kit which contains everything a group of 30 youngsters will need to get growing.
Each pack includes 30 growing pots, seeds, soil and growing guides to educate the children on the benefits of planting seeds which they will see grow into plants.
Skehan, who began growing his own vegetables five years ago, commented on the lessons he learnt through growing: "After a few sad lessons, I started growing what I wanted to eat. Because for the first year, I grew 25 cabbages all in one go and I was left with having to use up 25 cabbages in one go, which was a disaster.
"So the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to grow what I’ll actually eat, like peas, salad leaves, and lots of quick growing stuff, because that keeps my attention, the longer growing things take a little bit more love and care. I think you get the most instant gratification from things like peas and salad leaves. I always try something new each year, things like pumpkins and squash. The one thing that amazes me is that you can have amazing results with very little knowledge."
He also spoke about aiming to eat more healthily this spring, saying: "I think growing your own fruit and vegetables it a wonderful way of keeping focused on healthy food, and one of the healthiest things I grow is salad leaves because they grow all year round.Salad leaves are one of the key ways of getting greens into you before a meal with a really quick salad dressing."
Skehan added of the campaign: "It really is a fantastic campaign because it gets the whole class involved, it’s not just touching on one person. It’s really getting a whole community together and growing, so in my opinion, it’s fantastic."
Click here to view more information on the sow & grow campaign: