Our Slow Food Edinburgh Education team recently ran a foraging workshop with a group from Trinity Primary School. The session introduced the kids to the idea of foraging locally for wild foods and gave them the chance to get stuck in looking for and collecting some of the plants currently available along the Water of Leith.
Our own Slow Food Edinburgh experienced forager Martin facilitated the session, starting off the morning with a texture and taste activity showing off lots of wild plants that can be foraged locally. The kids were more than happy to try each of the plants, discussing smells, tastes, textures, recipes, and even medical uses for each.
We then split into five groups and headed off for a foraging treasure hunt, using plant cards with pictures and descriptions to find and collect available wild plants, including dandelions, nettles, pineapple weed, and chickweed. Pineapple weed was a clear favourite on the day, with its sweet smell and flavour.
The great feedback from kids on the day emphasised how inquisitive they are about where their food comes from and how much they love being involved in finding, picking and preparing wild foods.
The session was run in partnership with the Food for Thought Programme – a great initiative that supports over 130 schools across the country to reshape food education and connect students to exciting activities where they experience growing, cooking and eating good food. Vivian Maeda, Food for Thought Programmes Manager, said of the session,
"I was delighted with the support from Slow Food Edinburgh, which was keen to work with a local primary school. Trinity Primary’s plans were to grow food in the school as a way to raise interest in good food. In order to support their growing plans Slow Food Edinburgh offered a half-day fun foraging workshop, which was designed to improve pupil awareness of food and nature.
Outdoor learning develops children’s inquisitive skills, and promotes health benefits and the importance of seasonal local food. It is also a great opportunity for kinaesthetic & active learning and a good combination of physical activity and healthy eating. The feedback was very positive and the teacher felt encouraged by their reactions that they would be very interested in helping her with the growing project."
If you would like to support a local school with food education, you can contact Vivan via email: Vivian.email@example.com to find out more about Food for Thought Programme http://www.bitc.org.uk/scotland/what-we-offer/food-thought. Previous experience in running sessions for children not required, just heaps of enthusiasm to share their knowledge about food, whether it is farming, cooking, baking, foraging, any expertise welcome anywhere in Scotland.
Our committee is planning more education events to run over the summer. Watch this space!