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A berry lovely trip to Family Farm to celebrate National Strawberry Week

Carrickmacross School wins trip to Family Farm, Dublin Zoo as part of National Strawberry week colouring competition

Aimee Freeman aged 8, enjoying her trip to Family Farm

Strawberries are delicious, fresh and in season at the moment- that’s the message being conveyed through National Strawberry Week, which takes place from 6-12 June 2016.

To celebrate National Strawberry Week Agri Aware, in association with Bord Bia and The Irish Soft Fruit Growers Association ran a national colouring competition, offering all 3,300 primary level schools from across the Republic of Ireland a chance to win a class trip to Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo.

On Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 winning school, Scoil Bhláitin Iosa, from Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan visited Family Farm, Dublin Zoo for a berry special strawberry themed day.

Scoil Bhláitin Iosa, who also have an Incredible Edibles garden, is made up 41 students and four teachers. During their day at Family Farm students were treated to strawberry themed face painting, a special National Strawberry Week trail around Family Farm and were given delicious punnets of strawberries from Keeling’s to take home.

The winning colouring pages are currently on display in the Family Farm, Farmhouse until 18 June. Visitors to Family Farm, developed by Dublin Zoo and Agri Aware can take part in strawberry trails during from 6-12 June as part of National Strawberry Week.

Agri Aware Chairman, Richard Moeran, said, “Over one third of primary schools across the Republic of Ireland have signed up to Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles project. As part of this initiative students are growing their own strawberries. Learning how to grow a variety of healthy fruit and vegetables and understanding seasonality is a great life skill to give our young people.”

Dr. Vanessa Woods, Chief Executive of Agri Aware said, “Irish strawberries are delicious and nutritious. Through Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles initiative and National Strawberry Week we are communicating to primary level students and their parents, the health benefits of eating locally grown fruit and vegetables and the importance of food origin.”

Mike Neary, Manager of Horticulture, Bord Bia commented “Fresh fruit and vegetables are a vital part of a healthy diet. Strawberries are an increasingly popular choice among consumers as a tasty, low calorie, convenient snack. As with all fruit and veg, they are best consumed when they are in season. The ‘Best in Season’ promotion at www.bestinseason.ie highlights the best time of year for peak taste and ripeness of fruit and vegetables.”

Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles project is a healthy eating initiative that encourages primary school students to eat more potatoes, fruit and vegetables and to learn about the importance of food origin. The project also aims to develop a greater understanding among primary level students and their parents of the importance of healthy eating to prevent obesity

This year, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health and Children, through the Healthy Ireland framework, have joined Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles patrons along with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia and the horticulture industry to support this important healthy eating educational programme for primary level students.