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Food and farming reaches home classrooms

Farming and food can become part of the curriculum for home-schooling thanks to a new initiative by farmer-led platform Eat Farm Now and NFU Education.

‘Lockdown Learning’ is a free educational resource including videos, blogs and activities, presented by farmers from their farms, to teach children where food comes from and how it’s produced.

With a different theme every week, so far lessons have included an Easter special on lifecycles and the lambing season with shepherdess Hannah Jackson; an episode from a small-scale organic farm on how to feed the soil with compost; where blackcurrants for Ribena are grown; a kids’ Q&A hosted by comedian Charlie Baker; and how farmers grow barley for Maltesers.

Eat Farm Now
Organic grower Olivia James talks through why soils need feeding. 

It is backed by well-known farming media faces, including TV presenter and farmer Jimmy Doherty, farming journalist Anna Jones, Countryfile presenter Adam Henson and botanist James Wong, as well as a whole host of farmers and producers from across the country.

“I hope that hearing from us first-hand will excite and inspire children, and using subjects like science and technology will help them to learn more about these important areas of the national curriculum via food and farming projects,” said farmer and EatFarmNow co-founder, Will Evans.

Doherty said: “Lockdown Learning is a great educational resource aimed at children, full of wonderful videos made by farmers and food producers. To get involved, follow the hashtag #LockdownLearning or go to EatFarmNow.com.”

Blackcurrants Ribena supplier
One lesson looks at where blackcurrants come from. 

The news comes as the UK enters its fourth week of lockdown, with home schooling resuming after the Easter break.

Online learning resources are beginning to take off, with exercise coach Joe Wicks’ YouTube sessions ‘P.E. with Joe’ reaching millions of global daily viewers and leading to him being dubbed ‘PE teacher to the world’.

Cooking, growing and food resources are also emerging, with organic veg box company Riverford’s new Veg Hub offering free help with how to cook specific vegetables, recipe inspiration and new ‘Veg Hacks’ videos, and Idler magazine offering half price off its online courses, including how to grow fruit and vegetables with Guardian journalist Alys Fowler.

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