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Budding young gardeners get a pumpkin patch tour

PUBLISHED: 12:55 14 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:55 14 October 2014

Pupils from Kersey Primary School visit Lodge Farm

Pupils from Kersey Primary School visit Lodge Farm

Archant

Children from Kersey CEVC Primary School were treated to a pumpkin patch tour thanks to the East of England Co-op and its Sourced Locally grower Lindsey Lodge Farm of Hadleigh.

Amy Dabbs, kersey primary School,  Paul Robinson, produce section head at Hadleigh Co-op and Andrew Sturgeon, LOodge Farm with pupils from Kersey Primary SchoolAmy Dabbs, kersey primary School, Paul Robinson, produce section head at Hadleigh Co-op and Andrew Sturgeon, LOodge Farm with pupils from Kersey Primary School

The farm supplies the East of England Co-op with local strawberries, raspberries, runner beans and especially for Halloween, pumpkins.

As a family favourite, popular for Halloween, the seasonal squashes were a perfect way to engage the school’s pupils, aged seven to nine years, in topics such as seed dispersal and the plant life cycle.

Farmer Andrew Sturgeon, said: “We were pleased to introduce Kersey School to our farm and help the children understand how we produce the food they see in their local shops. It was great to also be able to show how we both maintain and develop the natural environment”.

Pumpkins are as delicious as they are fun. As well as expanding the children’s gardening knowledge, Kersey School have been introducing more cooking lessons to the learning in line with the new national curriculum.

Lodge Farm pumpkins are part of East of England Co-op’s Sourced Locally range. Introduced just over seven years ago, the range has grown from just a few suppliers to more than 140, bringing over 2,400 local products to stores. Demand for local produce has been strong, growing by 30% in the last 12 months, demonstrating just how important local suppliers and the Sourced Locally brand are to the Society, its members and customers.

The initiative won the national Hermes and Retail Week Supply Chain awards, the national Dairy Crest Rural Action Award in the Responsible Business Awards, run by Business in the Community, and the East Anglian Daily Times Business Award for Food and Farming Excellence. The initiative has also been shortlisted in the ‘Farming Partnership of the Year’ category at the British Farming Awards, which will be held on October 23.

Lodge Farm’s large pumpkins are available from East of England Co-op stores at Hadleigh, Darsham Hamper, Lavenham and Abbots Road, Colchester.

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