Trust Aims to Get Youngsters Involved in Food and Farming
Good ideas for food and farming, and people who are able to follow them through, are alive and well in many parts of Wales. The Mid-Wales Food and Land Trust Limited - set up in August 2004 - aims to reconnect people, especially children, to farming and the national environment and promote sustainable rural regeneration.
Antony Lewis of Dolanog, Welshpool, is the trust's chairman and heads a committee which includes two primary school head teachers, an organic farmer, a cookery skills teacher and chef and local farmer Lavinia Vaughan.
The trust has four current projects:
The Cafe - Children, Agriculture, Food and Education - project, partly funded by the Countryside Council for Wales, has developed an innovative programme of school visits to farms in Montgomeryshire.
The aim is to introduce young people aged from 3 to 18 years to agriculture and environmental issues, including concepts of sustainable living, knowledge of food production and biodiversity.
The Sure Start project delivers a programme of training in basic life skills, including cooking local food at the Skylark Family Centre on the Maesyrhandir Estate in Newtown.
The Healthy Schools project works with Welshpool High School to introduce local produce to the school canteen.
The Farmers' Schoolyard project promotes markets for local produce where people naturally congregate, such as primary schools.
The trust is supporting the hugely successful Aberhafesp Primary Schoolyard Market.
'We are also looking at other ideas, particularly a suggestion that a community garden, kitchen and cafe should be established to teach children about growing, harvesting and cooking, as well as the benefits of healthy eating,' said Mr Lewis. 'We would also like to introduce local food into the local tourism industry.
'And we are particularly interested in supporting the Welsh Assembly Government's Health Challenge Wales initiative which encourages people to take responsibility for their own health. …