I am excited and delighted to be working with the SouthEast branch of Slow Food Ireland (Four Rivers Convivium) on a project that will see four schools in the South-East become homes to hens in September.
Here’s the low down from the Slow Food website..
“Hens for Schools is an initiative by the Slow Food Four Rivers Group based in the Southeast of Ireland and covering counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford. As a not-for-profit organisation Slow Food occasionally generates a surplus of funds from running events and we return this surplus to the community.
One of our objectives as a group is to promote an awareness of where our food comes from. An obvious way to teach children about food production is by keeping hens. Slow Food has been working successfully with schools in East Cork for a number of years. As well as assisting with school gardens, we have been providing hen houses with hens and this has proven to be extremely popular with a waiting list for schools wishing to participate.
We now want to extend this scheme in the Southeast and to this end we are holding a competition open to all primary schools in the four counties, with a prize available to one school in each county.
A specially commissioned hen house will be supplied by the Old MacDonald Farm and Feed Store in Carlow. Ongoing support will be provided by author and broadcaster Fiona Dillon, an experienced hen-keeper and trainer (of hen-keepers, not hens) and if you want to learn how to use your eggs Audrea Hassett from Tastefully Yours will be on hand to teach that too.
All you have to do is make sure you have somewhere appropriate to keep your hens. All you will need to pay for on an ongoing basis is the feed and you will be able to pay for this by selling your eggs. With three hens you could expect 15-18 eggs each week. You will need form an orderly queue; there will be a big demand for them”
“The prize consists of
1. A bespoke hen house, specially designed and built for this project delivered to your school
2. Three hens
3. One feeder
4. One drinker
5. A feed starter pack
6. Training in hen-keeping by Fiona Dillon
7. Ongoing support as you establish your hen house
8. Cookery lesson from Audrea Hassett
In total the package is worth in excess of €1000.
HOW TO ENTER
Please complete the application form (below) and tell us in 150 words or less why your school needs hens, how they will help your school and who will look after the hens.
The closing date is the 27th June 2014.
The prize will be delivered in time for the new school year in September.
Doesn’t it sound great? If you know a school in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford or Wexford that might be interested in entering, please do let them know and share this link with them
I think this is going to be an amazing opportunity for children to learn, not only where their food comes from, but to develop huge respect for their feathered friends.
Good luck to all entrants and roll on September – I’m so looking forward to working with the winners..
“Food from an Irish Garden” is available in bookstores nationwide.