‘Fork to Fork’, a hands-on educational programme created by The Children’s Centre’s Community Farm, has received a boost from one of the Isle of Man’s oldest businesses.
Robinsons, the well-known food services wholesaler and retailer, has announced its sponsorship of the Community Farm scheme.
‘Fork to Fork’, launched in 2012, is a primary school food education programmed aimed at Year 4 classes. During sessions spaced out over the academic year, the farm team visits the Island’s schools, and in turn, classes visit the farm, which is situated on the Old Castletown Road near.
The aim of the programme, which links with the school curriculum, is to develop awareness and understanding in young people of our environment and ecosystem; animal husbandry; and food provenance and production.
The farm, which is run on a naturally sustainable land management system, currently has polytunnels, vegetable and herb gardens, and animals including pigs, donkeys, chickens and rabbits. Through a mixture of talks, games, and practical activities – such as planting seedlings, and harvesting vegetables – the children have an opportunity to learn, discover and engage with their environment in a fun, relaxed way.
Robinsons, whose backing of ‘Fork to Fork’ forms part of its 130th Anniversary celebrations, has always believed firmly in supporting local farmers from an economic and community standpoint; the company also recently helped Isle of Man Young Farmers to appeal for new members.
Janna Williamson explains, “We believe that understanding where your food comes from is vitally important for young people. The work undertaken by the Community Farm is really valuable, and we’re delighted to be able to provide assistance. We were already helping by donating our vegetable waste for the pigs, but now we’ve made a larger commitment!”
Lee Brooks, Community Farm Manager, says, “Our Fork to Fork project fosters in children a connection to their natural environment, and an understanding of the way we depend on the land, on animals and on growers and produces, for our food. At the same time, they learn a wide variety of skills and have great fun. We’re immensely thankful to Robinsons for their support, as it enables the farm, and this project, to go from strength to strength”.