We were extremely excited when we were asked to work with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) to promote their Gala Dinner and they were the obvious choice to be the subjects of the very first published episode of our brand new OnFARM podcast.
RHET take school-age children onto farms and work with teachers and schools to build an understanding of food production into lessons. RHET provides free educational activities and experiential learning opportunities linked to the Curriculum for Excellence and facilitates 70,000 children to either visit a farm, have a visit from a farmer or receive access to unique learning tools each year.
The OnFARM podcast team followed a tour with John Sinclair, long-time RHET supporter and volunteer, from Craigie’s Farm Deli and Café to learn more about fruit, vegetables, animals and much more.
Joined by pupils and staff from Queensferry Primary, we saw how children’s knowledge of food and farming is enhanced by the farm visits they enjoy and how rewarding this is for teachers and for volunteer farmers.
RHET strongly believe that children need to develop an understanding of where their food comes from and the various connecting issues such as sustainability, local sourcing and animal welfare.
At Craigie’s we learned about biodiversity, farming for the environment and for nature and how these messages are made appealing for children. Primary and secondary school children and teachers work closely with schools to provide information on seasonality, food miles, cooking and more. Everything that RHET provides is free of charge and all links in with the curriculum via health and wellbeing, social studies and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) topics.
All farmers who are involved with RHET are volunteers and giving their time for free. They understand, as we do, the importance that the next generation understands rural life and rural business and all that it produces and contributes.
The only downside of the OnFARM podcast is that you can’t see the looks on people’s faces and this was certainly a visit for smiles. Every single one of the children on the farm tour was fascinated and beaming from ear to ear and it was so rewarding even just to follow them and see how much they enjoyed their day.
It was also obvious from John’s face that he thoroughly enjoys hosting visits and gets a real buzz from what he is able to teach people.
Some of the media has, in our view, not been overly fair to agriculture lately, particularly with regard to climate change, and RHET are one of the organisations helping to ensure that the true messages are disseminated – farming, particularly in Scotland is making a positive contribution towards climate change and producing food that is both delicious and sustainable.
As an organisation which brings the countryside to the classroom, it was an honour to record this episode all about RHET and we hope to do a follow up in the future.
RHET is such as super cause and we’re delighted to be working with them on their first-ever Gala Dinner which takes place on 21 February. With farmer and comedian Jim Smith as compere, a fantastic auction and delicious three-course meal, the evening will be a social and culinary treat as well as a fundraising event.
Find out more about RHET or booked a Gala Dinner ticket at www.rhet.org.uk
If you have never listened to a podcast before, we encourage you to make OnFARM podcast the first one to which you listen! The process is easy. Simply visit the website, www.on-farm.co.uk and click on the Listen Now button. You can also subscribe via the iPhone podcasts app and Spotify.