Community Connections at the Halifax Academy

Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK

This garden project grew from the natural need to be in nature instead of traditional
classroom education. With help from community networks, the group started gardening activities, cooking, and food education came naturally after. From sunflower growing and guerilla gardening, fun games of pretending to be birds and tasting various seeds to learning all about worms and composting, the engaging activities are based on STEAM principles. The disused playground became a potato patch, and pupils happily dig in the soil and are proudly part of the “Muddy Hand Gang”. Their community kitchen is run by volunteers and offers up to 300 meals per week for families and staff through a pay-what-you-feel offer. This has been running for a year and has provided nearly 5,000 meals from surplus and seasonal food, occasionally topped up by local supermarkets and garden produce. The academy’s cooking curriculum is budget based and focuses on seasonal produce – definitely not your usual food tech! The community support doesn’t end with the students – their fruit and veg vouchers give families £5 worth of fresh fruit/veg at specific local retailers for a cost of £1.50. It seems that communities supporting each other in hard times is the way to keep us healthy and happy.

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Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.