Operation Young Farmer – The Next Generation of Cooks and Gardeners

I’ve been involved in Operation Farm since it started in 2010 and this year it’s been great to see more kids like me get involved in all the workshops & events they do.

We are ‘the next generation of gardeners and cooks!’

My Mum and some friends started Operation Farm 6 years ago, as they are all interested in local food and gardening. There’s a community allotment, orchard and kitchen and they do lots of teaching sessions and outdoor events – I love doing stuff with them.

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Take this year for example, I’ve helped out at:

  • Tree Dressing Day – where we did groovy, outdoor, natural crafts
  • Planting an orchard for Mossley, you can see the video here
  • Kids Enterprise – a pop up café where we invited our family and friends to an afternoon tea
  • Horticulture Show – where I was a judge in the kid’s section and I also ran my own rocket seed planting stall. You can read my blog about that here
  • Apple pressing sessions – where all us kids get involved in picking and washing the apples, then turning the handle on the big press until all the lovely juice runs out, which you hand out for people to taste. You just can’t beat fresh apple juice, it’s delicious

Last week Operation Farm held their volunteer celebration evening and a group of us kids made the food and served drinks. At the end, we all said what we would like to do with Operation Farm in 2017 – here’s what me and the other kids had to say:

Lauren – “I love cooking with Joan  and baking cakes with Kulwant (both Operation Farm volunteers), especially the icing bit. The general public events are fun to watch too”

Jake – “I would like to make a meal or soup for the homeless”

Madie – “I would like to do an RHS Tatton Flower Show garden again – I’m aiming big! Make soup again and make jam. Teddy Bear’s picnic. Have a camp fire with tents and do a cook off”

Flo – “I love gardening, cooking and crafts”

Kiah – “I like the idea of a pop up sit down café at a big outdoor event, with a menu where people had a choice; possibly with a theme like Alice in Wonderland”

Tilly – “My suggestion would be a picnic in the park, where we could decorate our own tablecloths”

Alex – “I would like to do some pop up craft stalls”

Anatolli – “I would like to create a lego farm”

Emily –  “I would like to do some gardening”

And me – “well, I’d like to do some more work on the community allotment, in particular I’d like to grow pumpkins  – one of my readers is sending me some seeds – so watch this space!”

The adult volunteers had some great ideas too including:

  • Families playing out and getting muddy
  • Cooking over fire bowls
  • Going wild food foraging
  • Trails through woods, designed to link with food and gardening

I know that Operation Farm are going to try and get some money (funding), to make sure some of these things happen in 2017; after all if nobody teaches us to grow and cook our own food ‘we’ll be starving when we grow up!’

Good luck to everyone involved in  Operation Farm in 2017!

It would be great to hear what you think of this week’s blog about Operation Farm, please leave me a comment




About greenfingeredgeorge

RHS Young Ambassador Gardening Geek and Nature Nerd!
This entry was posted in Cooking, Events, Gardening, Local Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Operation Young Farmer – The Next Generation of Cooks and Gardeners

  1. neil says:

    very good blog week again by george and yes i did see somethink above about growing pumpkins so in october next year you will find out about taiking about your 1st crop of pumpkins, have a good week george hear from you soon. cheers from neil


  2. rachelrummun says:

    I had to give up my allotment as I couldn’t keep it up with work and college, so plan to be growing courgettes and salad in tubs and planters this year. I really enjoy your blog, George.


    • Hi Rachel, thanks for reading my blog. Bet you miss your allotment eh? But at least you can still get good crops from tubs and planters – my Grandma Brenda plants this way and she always has a good success, especially with courgettes, peas, strawberries and tomatoes. Good luck and hope you have a merry Christmas George


  3. Hi George, this is Dara’s mum (Róisín) here and I would just like to say that this looks like an amazing project!! So positive and inspiring. Hearty congratulations to your mum, all the volunteers and of course to you for telling their story so brilliantly! It’s certainly give me some food for thought about such a project where we live!

    Well done on your blogging year too, it’s wonderful to see kids taking the lead and paving the way for others to follow. Keep up the good work! 👍🏻👍🏻


    • Hi Róisín, Ali here, George’s mum. I thought I’d reply to this one as it’s lovely to hear your comments about Operation Farm. One of the many questions George gets asked is about how he started/what was the inspiration etc.. and Operation Farm plays a large part in all of this – it gave him the opportunity to try lots of gardening/cooking/event stuff – most of which was outside in an allotment, orchard or park/garden/woods.
      He’s not too keen on cooking, but he’s showing a bit more interest as his ‘palate’ develops and he’s started making simple things without help, like beans on toast in order to become more independent – you can’t go wrong with beans on toast!!
      I know you are based in Ireland and funding streams will be different to those here – but if you ever need help with anything, I would be happy to help my email is alison.shockledge@gmail.com. I’m going to steal what you wrote and put it on Op Farms facebook page – our funders look at the site and we’ve got a few bids in at the moment! I love Dara’s blog too – it’s fab how they can all get together via social media and share their passions. Shame they don’t live near each other eh!
      Cheers and don’t hesitate to get in touch Ali

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Ali, thank you!! I’m sure Dara and George would get on brilliantly. Best of luck with your funding bids and I’ll definitely have more questions for you, after Christmas 😉😉
        Róisín xx


  4. Pingback: Up to now freezin’ February has been a whole lotta fun! | Green Fingered George

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