Healthy Living and the need for more tasty vegetables, fruit and edible flowers in the diet of school children were this year’s themes for the Miracle-Gro’wers Learning Journey stand at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Once again the panel of RHS judges heaped praise on all aspects of the garden and Laboratory. The beautiful vegetable plants, the stand graphics, the trials results and the messages portrayed were all judged as ‘Very Good’ and were awarded another Silver-Gilt award – just two points short of that elusive Gold Medal that is almost within reach.
Pupils from 30 schools from around the country were able to come to Chelsea to work on the Miracle-Gro’wers Academy stand, to give out leaflets, to show details of their plant growth experiments and to highlight to the 160,000 visitors each day of the 5 day show the benefits of Miracle-Gro products.
This ever growing army of advocates now has its own Facebook page where Miracle-Gro'wers have posted competitions, news stories and pictures from the show to the delight of a steadily growing audience on social media.
As part of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s outreach programme to the community, Scotts Miracle-Gro has this year encouraged more than ten thousand school pupils to embrace and enjoy gardening for the first time, learn some science and carry out ‘fair tests’ on some of our Miracle-Gro products.
More than 100 schools, including 20 secondary academies have grown edible plants and as a result discovered some of the secrets of healthy eating and living. Plants grown by these 10,000 Miracle-Gro’wers were exhibited in the Discovery area of the Great Pavilion together with some representative samples of broad beans and edible flowers that were grown in scientific experiments by the schools.
It is accepted that the growing trials by the schoolchildren may not have been as scientific as those carried out under controlled conditions by the experts at Levington Research Station, but because the number of plants grown (251) was so large the results were still significant enough to be part of the stands graphics.
Graphics on the stand showed some facts about the nation’s eating habits and some good ideas from our junior Miracle-Gro’wers on how to combat obesity and lead a healthier life. Facts discovered by our Miracle-Gro’wers team showed that only 1 in 10 children eat FIVE-A-DAY, every day.
Influential politicians were briefed on the initiative during Press Day (Monday 18th May). First visitor was Baroness Benjamin, children’s advocate, school governor and member of the House of Lords since 2010; followed by Baroness Fookes, Chair of the All Party Gardening and Horticultural Group, who wrote in their comments book, “Excellent work. Congratulations!”. Lastly, the Miracle-Gro’wers Academy was visited by the new Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson (brother of Boris) who was briefed about their experiments by Ruby and Glory, pupils of Granton Primary School, Streatham.
Speaking to Jane Hartley (project manager for Miracle-Gro'wers) about the schools’ growing initiative and the future she told us, “We believe that encouraging school children to grow plants can only be beneficial in the long term. Both to our business, and to the health of our overweight nation. We are out to prove that children exposed to growing plants at school or at home will include these extra vegetables to their diet more readily and thus drive up the numbers they eat every day to the Government’s 5-A-DAY. It’s a win, win position for the Miracle Gro’wers brand that has the full support from the very top of the company and we look forward to eventually delivering significant brand growth when this initiative is delivered to even more schools and thousands of new followers on social media.”