Research shows that children who are actively involved in the cultivation of vegetables have a tendency to eat more of them and also enjoy the taste more. The Nationaal Schooltuinproject was started as an initiative of SPAR Holding in order to teach children about where their food comes from, how it grows and that it is healthy, fun and delicious. This was supported by HZPC in 2014/2015 for the third year in a row.
In 2014/2015, more than 30,000 children in the Netherlands between the ages of 4 and 12 were able to observe the growth and development of the Innovator and Annabelle potato varieties at close quarters. Over 1,000 schools and vocational training institutions were able to take advantage of the free vegetable garden package provided by Spar and Intratuin shops. These packages included a planter bag of 1 x 1 metres, potting soil, garden materials, vegetable seeds and a garden book. HZPC provided 2 varieties for the package.
A number of HZPC colleagues provided guest lessons in schools. The guest lessons were followed by a visit to a grower's premises. Children were able to see how potatoes grow in the field and which machines are used to plant them and dig them up. The project was also a success this year due to the enthusiasm of the students. More information is available at www.schooltuinproject.nl
In Germany HZPC Germany took part in a similar local school garden project known as 'Kids an die Knolle'. More than 20 schools took part in this initiative by the Deutsche Kartoffel Handelsverband e.V.