The education department want healthier schools. The European Union gave an idea to governments in general that, if schools had a garden area that they can grow vegetables they can teach the kids about growing vegetables, plants, bugs, bees, you know. So they introduce the green flag. There are three levels to it. The first level is a certificate that you are showing the keenness to progress. And you get plaque at the second level, which is normally your second year. And by the third year you get a green flag. And once you’ve got the green flag it is yours. They can’t take it away from you.
So, some of the parents; myself, another parent Stewart and another got together and we worked with a teacher to build pond. We worked with the kids and get them a vegetable plot growing potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, raspberries, strawberries, various bits and pieces, a pond. Got it all set up. Got the kids involved. When the kids see you push a wheelbarrow, they got involved in filling it, and pushing and getting interested and involved. It promotes the thought of healthy food as something you could grow quite easily and also it taught some kids where do food came from. I mean, you ask an awful lot of kids of a certain age where does an apple come from, they gonna say a shop. And now the kids at Calders know that apples come from a tree. That carrots come out of the ground, not from a plastic bag. It sounds so vain and so stupid, but a lot of kids didn’t know where these came from, and now a lot knows. And the council are happy for us to use the grounds. No hassle came from them.
So most of the schools around here do not promote these green flag gardens. It promotes healthy living; parents are involved in their child’s work. So they are involved in their child’s education. They are learning a skill, they are also able to teach their children about food and what they’ve done, and so it passes skills to different ages of people. The nursery uses most of the produce. They use it to make jam, and chutneys. Use it for the kids’ lunches. They have their own kitchen and so they could use potatoes for chips, for tatties, for mash. So, if the school could have or use a big enough area they could actually sell it to parents and make money for the school. Or make things to sell at fairs. and this idea [of the green flag] is a brilliant idea for schools, GP surgeries, for places like these even to push for because it makes them eco-friendly and can use it, especially for big companies, to get tax breaks and it’s good to get plants. What annoys Stewart and I, is that the number of parents that like the idea, but don’t want to work, is lot.