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Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins grows veg at Acland Burghley

Tufnell Park school can look forward to bumper crops in new kitchen garden

06 April, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Chris Collins with Acland Burghley students. ‘Growing food is a life skill,’ he said

A TASTE of The Good Life came to Acland Burghley School this week – in the guise of a food-growing lesson by one-time Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins.

Mr Collins visited the Tufnell Park school on Monday afternoon as part of a new project, Know Your Onions. Run by charity School Food Matters, it encourages students to have a greater knowledge of, and interest in, food. He took 10 pupils out of the classroom and onto the land for an afternoon to prepare ground and plant a range of vegetables, including peas, broad beans, courgettes and rocket, at the school’s new kitchen garden.

Mr Collins, who worked on the BBC TV show for nearly a decade, said: “The students got on with lots of planting and had plenty of exercise and fresh air. They’ll have loads to crop and I’m really looking forward to seeing the results.”

He added that younger children in primary schools were taught about food production, but it tailed off as children got older. “It’s very important that kids in secondary school get involved in Know Your Onions because we all need to know where our food comes from, and growing food is a life skill,” he said.

The project, also taking place at La Sainte Union and UCL Academy, allows pupils to learn how to cook food – or sell it as produce at Inverness Street Market in Camden Town.

Year 7 student Morgan Halsall said: “I did gardening at primary school and I really enjoyed it because it’s relaxing and stress-free.”

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