Anna Guyer | 21.12.10
The snow may cancel transport, slow down shoppers and interrupt work, but it also inspires.
At home we're perfecting hot chocolate, seeing the magic of snow through the eyes of a child, and taking snow sculpture up a notch. Witness: husband Matthew and the children have built an igloo. In our garden.
Will update photos as it progresses. Watch this space.
“May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart”
-- Eskimo Proverb
Sally Hill | 27.07.10
Guest blog by Chrissie Williams - ed
The school summer holidays are here again. Six weeks is stretching out in front of me, and to be honest I’m really not sure how I feel about it.
Anna Guyer | 20.05.10
The greatest resource we have for creating a sustainable future isn't a law or a revolutionary new product. I believe it lies in our ability to, as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young so beautifully put it, teach our children well.
As parents of three, Matthew and I are keen for our children to develop an understanding of the importance of being good stewards for the planet. They are really into it -- and so are their friends, which I find both fascinating and heartening.
When Rosie’s school, St John’s in Wimborne, celebrated Environment Week, we spent a day there to help more than 160 children plant edible veg. This was part of our effort to support Garden Organic's One Pot Pledge, which I've talked about on the blog. It's all about getting first-time gardeners to plant a few seeds and grow something edible.
Our day at school was really great. It was also exhausting - a good exhaustion - which left me in complete awe and admiration for the stamina and commitment that teachers expend everyday.
For many of Rosie's schoolmates, planting something was a first. We gave the children a choice of seeds for French beans, courgettes, carrots and salad. Everyone had fun and they loved growing the veg.
The day before, I went to our local supermarket and bought the equivalent of what we were going to plant. We looked at food miles:
- French beans from Kenya, 4685 miles
- green beans from Morocco, 1500 miles
- lettuce from Perthshire, over 400 miles
- carrots and courgettes from Spain, 585 miles
What was inspiring was that the children were knowledgeable about food miles and the issues where are food comes from, and they have an awareness about the impact of food transportation on the environment and the benefits of growing your own. There's something to this exercise of reaching kids when they are seven and eight. These are such formative years.
We weren't taught lessons of sustainability when I was a kid. What I saw at Rosie's school gives me hope. It makes me reach for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
PS: I am going to keep asking you to take the One Pot Pledge. I have promised myself to recruit 1000 new growers!
Anna Guyer | 23.02.10
With more and more mums working, 600,000 children are enrolled at nursery in the UK. There are also shocking stats, recently launched, that one in four children in the UK are obese by the time they go to school. So we are calling on government to put in place clear nutritional standards guaranteeing better food in our nurseries now.
The campaign has gathered momentum. The campaign's Facebook page has grown to nearly 600 fans and 1,500 people are following the Nursery Food Twitter page. More than 5,000 people have signed a petition online to demand better nursery food for our children.
It may surprise you to know that research conducted by the Soil Association, and funded by Organix, found this shocking state of affairs in nurseries:
• NO clear nutritional standards
• NO compulsory training for nursery staff serving food
• NO agency to monitor the quality of food provided
• NO government department giving a lead or promoting good practice.
In fact, foods banned or restricted in primary and secondary schools, like crisps, sweets and chocolate, are regularly served in nurseries.
We have run a survey on Mumsnet to get the views of this election’s most influential voters: mums. If the government needs to be made to listen, surely 1000 opinionated women can help make that happen. On March 31st, we are taking to government our petition, complaints, case studies gathered via Facebook and a new report on nursery food.
Surely the long-term health of the next generation should not be left to chance.
For resources, more about the campaign and to sign our petition, please visit www.nurseryfood.org.
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