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Help judge a ‘meal-barrow’ at Abbey Pumping Station this weekend


SCHOOLS that have been growing ‘meal-barrows’ full of healthy fruit and vegetables will have their efforts judged at an open day on Saturday.

Returning after the cancellation of lasts years competition, the mealbarrows are part of an annual Grow Your Own Grub competition jointly organised by the city council’s Eco-Schools and public health teams, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Food for Life.

Schools were tasked with coming up with a healthy, nutritious and creative menu idea for a three-course meal and then growing at least five of the ingredients they’d need – whether fruit, vegetables, salad crops, herbs or cereals.

The ‘mealbarrows’ idea – where crops are grown in wheelbarrows – means even schools that don’t have much growing space can take part in the competition.

Eighteen city schools have participated, and the fruits (and vegetables) of their labour will be on display at Abbey Pumping Station Museum on Saturday 3 July, from 12pm until 3pm.

Members of the public, plus friends and families from the schools, are invited to view the mealbarrows and vote for their favourite.

Their votes will be combined with those of a panel which has already visited all of the participating schools, judging against criteria such as the condition of the crop, how environmentally-friendly the growing methods have been and how the project has been integrated in to teaching.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third mealbarrows at the celebration event which will take place at the winning school in the new term. Prizes will be garden centre shopping vouchers.

Cllr Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for public health, said: “We know that children are more likely to try new and healthier foods, like fruit and veg, if they’ve had a hand in growing it themselves.

Getting boys and girls interested in healthy, nutritional food can help combat obesity as well as showing that growing your own grub can be simple and fun – and you don’t need a big garden to have a go.”

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on transportation and environment, said: “Our eco-schools team do a fantastic of making vital environmental issues relevant to the daily life of children. Giving kids the opportunity to get involved in growing their own fruit and vegetables is a great way of learning about the benefits of healthy, sustainable food and the impact that our diets can have on the environment.

“Above all, the meal-barrows are a real celebration of the green-fingered achievements of children from schools right across the city.”

To find out more about community ‘get growing’ schemes and other sustainable food projects in Leicester, visit

Visitors to all Leicester museums are required to 'check in' to our venues using either the NHS Covid-19 app or by leaving their contact details with staff. Visitors are also required to maintain social distancing rules and to wear face masks during their visit.