Teaching the children business skills through growing fruit and vegetables.

This week definitely feels like spring is in the air and my attention is moving away from animals and the bus, to growing vegetables!

This is the first time I have attempted such a project and I’m not sure where or how to start! My dad will happily tell you that I do not have a green thumb and yet here I am, wanting to teach children to be proficient growers! I’m stepping out of my comfort zone for several reasons. Firstly, I feel it’s an important life skill to be able to grow your own crops, but there is a more important reason. We are turning it into a business!

The children are creating a ‘business’ and the end goal is to turn a profit from growing fruit and vegetables. The plan is for the children to have real jobs; from CEO, marketing, finance to ‘head of plants’. They will learn what is expected for their role and take responsibility for their area. They’ll learn team work, responsibility, creativity and decision-making – skills which are vital in the world of work but that are often neglected in school. It’s widely accepted that the children we are teaching will have careers and jobs that do not exist yet and that we cannot even imagine. In my opinion, we need to teach skills that will help them to succeed in business, as well at the more traditional subjects.

We won’t be doing this alone. We have the backing of Adnams (a local brewing company), which has now diversified into hotels and restaurants and this is where we come in. We are working with Siobhan Eke, who is the mastermind behind the project and the real driving force. With her support we will set up and run our company, sell our products (hopefully back to Adnams!) and reinvest our profit.

The project is in its early stages. At the moment, our students are trying to drum up support for the project in the form of financial assistance and equipment. They are really starting to take ownership of it though and have already started to bring in work they’ve done at home.

I have no idea if this project will work but I’m excited to take a step into the unknown. Let’s hope we can drum up support and interest for our venture and make it a real success. If early indications are anything to go by, the children’s enthusiasm WILL make it a success.

Our raised beds are almost ready… Now let’s get growing!

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