Last Thursday a group of year 10 Food students went on a visit to OrganicLea, a local food farm in Chingford.
OrganicLea began in 2001, with the idea that more food can and should be grown locally in London. It is located on the edge of London near Lea Valley and it prides itself in growing organic foods (which are foods that are grown without the use of harmful chemicals).
Feedback from students (Aleeza, Antonia and Zurrell):
As we arrived at OrganicLea the staff (Beth and Chris) started a fun activity where they learnt our names; which was very welcoming. After learning our names, we went on a tour of the organic farm, we explored many beautiful places on the farm. We visited a mammoth greenhouse, where we learned how to easily attract needed insects and repel unwanted birds only using CD disc. After exploring the vegetation in the greenhouse, we went to see how deer, foxes and other animals are kept away from eating grapes and grape leaves; we learnt that bees are very important to the community as they produce honey by pollinating which is included in a lot of foods that humans eat. We also had the opportunity to see their compost toilets (we found this quite interesting as we had never seen a compost toilet before).
Closer to the end of the trip we took part in two more activities, we got the opportunity to carry woodchip in wheelbarrows, transfer them to the root of trees, after laying down cardboard (this is to prevent weeds from growing at the base of the trees). Then, finally we took part in a Food preparation activity whereby, we made Fresh Pesto from herbs that were grown on the farm. We then had the chance to eat the Fresh Pesto that we had made with bread; this was delicious!
We found the experience very informative; We learned a lot of important things that could be very useful in the future like how to maintain our fruits and vegetable garden here at school, growing vegetables at home and how important it is to take care of the environment in order to produce fruits and vegetables for the community. We also gained additional information on how important it is not to modify the foods we eat and to keep them fresh.