Local food on New Forest menu

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The food miles associated with the food we eat is on the menu at one New Forest school.

Lymington Montessori, an early years school, opened its own farm in 2007 toconnect children with the natural environment and the food they eat.

Tell us about the scheme

Children as young as 12 months are involved in sowing, tending, harvesting, preparing and cooking fruit and vegetables from the school's own farm.

  • Raised beds and fruit cages have been built to supply the school with fruit and veg
  • A rainwater harvesting and irrigation system has been fitted to supply 75% of the farm's watering needs
  • Compost bins and wormeries have been installed to recycle 100% of the school's biodegradable waste
  • A chicken coup and fenced livestock area has been built so the children can have easy and safe access to animals when feeding and tending to them
  • They've built an outdoor, wood-fired clay oven
  • A greenhouse has been installed to extend the growing season
  • A pond has been created to promote biodiversity
  • A composting toilet and shed have also been built

Why is being introduced?

It is hoped the farm will eventually help the school become self-sufficient for fruit and vegetables for five months of the year.

It's also a hands-on (literally) way of teaching children about the food we eat and where it comes from. It's also a practical way of explaining the importance of eating locally grown, seaonal fruit and vegetables (rather than eating strawberries from Kenya or tomatoes from Spain in the depths of the British winter).

Keen to find out more?

  1. Find out more about projects to promote sustainable local food in the New Forest National Park
  2. Find out how the Sustainable Develop Fund has helped schools go green in the New Forest