School Projects

The STC Schools project is based at the centre and was initially set-up with funds from Selby District Leader+. The project involves local primary schools visiting the centre 3-4 times per year and growing crops on their own allotments at STC. Gardening and growing clubs from local schools also visit to learn more about horticulture and undertake a range of activities.

The company sees an important role in helping re-connect the public with food production and also in promoting the benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables as part of the ‘5 a day’ campaign. As part of this commitment STC hold regular open days for members of the public to view current trials and commercial growing practices.

Food Live and Big Harvest
Food Live and Big Harvest

In the last week of June and first week in July school children can also visit for Food Live and Big Harvest. These single visits are aimed at schools across Yorkshire who would not be able to visit STC as part of our other school projects due to distance.

Food Live involves children harvesting strawberries, new potatoes, lettuce, radish, courgettes and broccoli to take home. They also tour the glasshouses and pick mini plum tomatoes and cherry to taste plus hearing about how cucumbers are grown. All children go away with a bag of fresh produce. In addition to harvesting the fresh produce they also make healthy pizzas, carrot cake buns, taste cheeses and a wide variety of fruit.

School Group

The Big Harvest involves children harvesting crops in the field and a tour of the glasshouse. The event is aimed at getting children interested in growing their own produce and hopefully we have started this journey.

Growing Entrepreneurs at STC
Potting plants in mid April
Potting plants in mid April

STC expanded its activities with schools in Spring 2009 by piloting a business and enterprise scheme. This involved schools growing bedding plants using STC facilities.

Six local schools were selected and a short presentation made to teaching staff and Year 5 or 6 pupils. The children decided which bedding species to grow from a list of 8 plus a few vegetables. They decided how many trays to grow, pricked the plug plants out at school or STC with the plants grown on at STC for 4 weeks. During the growing period they would have to develop a marketing strategy after doing some market research, set prices and get orders!. STC provided free plug plants and seed but charged the schools for trays, pots, compost and rent for the glasshouse area used.

Two weeks before dispatch
Two weeks before dispatch

The scheme was a great success with several schools taking it very seriously and setting up Board of Directors. Most schools made between £300 and £500 profit after deducting costs. The children then decided how to spend the profit.

Based on this initial success we have expanded the project to 12 schools per year and are encouraged by the very positive feedback from parents and schools.

If you would like to get more details or make a booking then please download our booking form here.


School Food Trust
To find out more about current guidance and support on healthy school meals visit the School Food Trust website -


5 A Day