Mick Kelly, founder of GIY, with Torrun, Darragh, Daitií, Jamie, Zachary, Lilou and Colm as Carriganima National School at the school’s bug hotel was announced as the winner of this year’s Big Grow initiative. Photo: Patrick Browne

We are Big Grow champions

There are plenty of little green fingers in Carriganima National School as they been crowned this year’s Big Grow champions.

50,000 school children from schools nationwide took part in the tenth annual Big Grow initiative, which enabled primary school children to learn how to grow their own food in their classrooms.

The teacher of the winning class, Lavinia Sheahan said: “Our two teacher school took to this challenge with gusto. They all absolutely loved the experience of growing their own food and learned a lot through the process.

“They were excellent at growing their seeds from scratch and transplanting everything outside to the raised beds successfully. We also used a lot of recycled materials for our grow cartons. It hasn't been the easiest year for children at school so this outdoor activity offered us a wonderful slice of normality and learning in a fun way together.”

The Big Grow began ten years ago as innocent and GIY joined forces to get kids growing their own veg at school and since then they have helped over a quarter of a million pupils to get free growing resources.

Founder of GIY Michael Kelly said: “All of the pupils from Carriganima National School showcased fantastic engagement with the big Grow from the very beginning. We loved their enthusiasm for growing their own food and their future plans to continue to expand their school garden to grow even more food into the future. They were really bitten by the food growing bug!”

Brand manager for innocent drinks Ireland, Rochana Shrestha said: “Everyone at Carriganima National School really went for it, and made a huge effort to keep us updated on their growing progress. It’s fantastic that they’re using their winnings to do even more growing in the future.”