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Bloomin' amazing

It’s hard to believe that it’s Bloom bank holiday weekend again. But it is. And we’re as excited as ever to be part of the fantastic growing festival in Dublin.

Bloom not only gives us a chance to chat to some fellow growing fanatics and drinkers over the course of the weekend but it’s also our opportunity to take our Sow & Grow champions out for the day and make them feel like the superstars that they are.

This year for the fourth year, we teamed up with GIY Ireland to get children all over Ireland sowing and growing their own seeds in the classroom, to show just how easy it is to grow your own plants and vegetables. Teachers and school children from all over the country got involved and got their hands dirty with a bit of gardening fun. This year over 20,000 kids around Ireland were growing their own in their classrooms.

Hundreds of schools signed up for a free growing pack which included all they needed to grow in their classrooms (cups, seeds, soil and growing guides). We had three top prizes up for grabs:

1st prize: The winning school will win a trip the Bloom gardening festival, along with €500 worth of gardening equipment and one year’s mentorship from a GIY gardener in their area. To top it all off, we’ll take your class to Dublin Zoo for a tour and some tasty lunch.

2nd prize: €400 of gardening equipment/plants and a visit from one of the GIY team to give advice on spending the money wisely and make your school even greener.

3rd prize: €300 of gardening equipment/plants and a visit from one of the GIY team to advise on spending the money wisely to help your school on its way to becoming even greener.

We dug deep into the growing diaries that we received over the past few months and after much deliberation with our panel of judges, we final found our deserving winners:

1st prize winners: 2nd class in Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin.

(Pictured are Muna, Adam, Callum and Miguel.)

Some facts about our champs:

#1 They are the first all boy school to pick up the title of Sow & Grow winner. G’wan the lads.

#2 Their favourite plant to grow this year was pumpkin

#3 They can sing. Really well

Their teacher Ms Quinn says: “This is the first year that the class took part in ‘Sow and Grow’ and from day one they were very enthusiastic about growing, they even created a music video to tell the story of growing their own vegetables in the classroom.”

We’ll be announcing 2nd and 3rd prize winners next week but in the meantime we wanted to thank all of the schools who took part in Sow and Grow this year. We were so(w) impressed with the standard of growing diaries this year so you all should be very proud.

Big Knit, bigger cheque.

This week we were joined by our record-breaking (and very glamorous) knitters to take our €20,000 donation to Age Action off our hands.

 

(BEFORE)

 

The €20,000 is a result of collecting 65,000 little hats, hand knitted by the Irish public, so thank you very much. Without your little hats, we wouldn’t be able to help older people stay warm and well in winter.

 

For more information on how the Big Knit helps loads, visit: http://www.thebigknit.ie/

 

(AFTER)

We’re officially amazing.

Nothing to see here, just the Guinness Book of Records confirming that we are ‘officially amazing’. 

You may remember us attempting to break the existing World Record for the ‘Largest display of knitted sculptures’ last November when we officially launched the Big Knit. Well, this month, we received confirmation that we had in fact broken the existing record (8845) by displaying 9,100 little hats in the Little Museum of Dublin.

It’s safe to say we’re pretty chuffed here in Fruit Towers (and a little smug.).

 

Ready, steady, Sow & Grow.

It’s that time of year again, brush off those gardening tools, pop on those wellies and prepare to get your hands dirty. (Just a little.) The innocent and GIY Sow and Grow project is  back for its 4th year and is set to get over 20,000 school children growing their own fruit and veg this spring. Charlie Dimmock, eat your heart out.

Growing their own vegetables is not only fun, but more importantly, it teaches kids where their food comes from and helps them to eat healthier. Lots of studies show that food growing children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables, show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition and are more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives.

We make it really easy for schools to get involved by sending out simple to use growing packs with seeds, growing cups, soils and guides for 30 kids.

Every class that gets involved are in with a chance to win some great prizes including; a day trip to Bloom where they will be presented with their prize and a class trip to Dublin Zoo. The winning school will also receive €500 worth of growing equipment and one year’s mentorship from GIY.

We launched Sow and Grow last week with the help of Lilly Higgins and camera loving Logan (6), Madison (6), (a distracted) Fyodor (7) and Lauren (11) at St Agnes’ Primary School, Crumlin.

Lilly was also on hand to show the boys and girls of St Agnes’ National School just how tasty courgette can be when you eat it as ‘courgetti’ (strips of courgettes so that it looks like spaghetti, for those who don’t know what courgetti is.).

Here’s the tasty recipe:

Courgetti Spaghetti

Serves 4

3 large courgettes

1 small bunch of parlsey

Zest of 1/4 lemon

6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 small clove garlic

Salt & black pepper

Finely grated parmesan, to serve

Roughly grate the courgette or julienne it by cutting it into fine strips or matchsticks. If you have a julienne peeler or spiraliser you can use that instead. Place in a large bowl.

Blitz olive oil, parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour over the courgette, stir to combine and top with lots of finely grated parmesan. 

To get your school involved in the innocent and GIY Sow & Grow, you can register here. All our growing packs were snapped up but schools can still take part by uploading their growing diaries.

Big Knit My Hat

During this year’s Big Knit, hat lovers have the chance to win a full size version of a little Big Knit hat.

How? Easy. All you have to do is take a photo of you with your behatted smoothie bottle, post it on either Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #IrishBigKnit and you could win a big version of your little hat.

Make sure to send your picture by March 6th and we'll pick a winner out of a hat (a big one, not a little one).  Go on, get snapping.

And remember, for every hatted smoothie sold, 30c goes to Age Action. So as well as getting a delicious fruit smoothie with a very lovely hat, you’ll also be helping to keep older people in Ireland warm this winter. Winning. 

www.thebigknit.ie

#IrishBigKnit