Teaching the next generation

by Lawrence Frohn, March 16, 2018

Education is an important issue for all of us at Hillfarm Oils, and we love to get involved with activities and events that teach children and young adults about farming and the food industry. Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing some of what we’ve been doing, kicking off with our work with primary school children.

At Hillfarm, we’re always eager to encourage children to learn about where their food comes from. Our two children see every step of our production process, from drilling though to harvesting, pressing, filtering, and bottling. By coming along to shows and food festivals, they’ve also picked up a good understanding of the marketing aspects of the food industry. And they love to get cooking so know very well how to cook with our rapeseed oil – especially how to make sweet treats!

We like to give other children similar opportunities to see first-hand how a product such as ours is grown and can be used. In our experience, there are few children who aren’t fascinated by food production. They love to see tractors and combine harvesters at work, and marvel at the smallness of a rape seed and how it grows to become a mature plant with bright yellow flowers. They also love to see the seeds crushed and feel the oil coming out, and are amazed at how many seeds are needed to fill one 500ml bottle.

Children love to cook too, and with obesity and health issues related to a reliance on processed foods a major issue today, we’re keen to share our passion for cooking and healthy eating. Our cold pressed rapeseed oil is great for kids to cook with as it’s low in saturated fat and high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. It also doesn’t need to be melted like butter and is easy to pour and mix.

School children with Sam Fairs & his tractor

Farm to fork with Grundisburgh Primary School

As part of their bid for a silver Food for Life award, Grundisburgh Primary School approached us to find out how we make our oil.

Under the programme, Year 6 are following the production of a food item from farm to fork for a year. We’re always keen to support our local community and are passionate about helping children understand where their food comes from.  So, just before February half term, Lawrence and Rachael visited Grundisburgh Primary School and explained the whole process from field to bottle.

Tractors in Schools

Run by the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) and the East Anglian Daily Times (EADT), Tractors in Schools is an annual programme designed to give pupils a better understanding of the life of a farmer. Last year, Sam took a John Deere to Wenhaston Primary School to explain how tractors help farmers produce food, bringing along a selection of crops from Hillfarm including wheat, barley, peas and, of course, rapeseed.

The School Farm and Country Fair

Over 4,000 Suffolk primary school children descend upon the Trinity Park Showground in Ipswich for this day-long annual event, organised by the SAA as part of their ongoing commitment to education. Aimed at pupils in Years 3 and 4, the School Farm and Country fair connects children with the local farming community and gives them a chance to learn more about the industry and where food comes from.

It was fantastic to see so many eager faces at our stall last time, and answer so many enthusiastic questions about our oil and honey! We look forward to being quizzed more at this year’s event on 19th April!

Norfolk Spring Fling

If you have children aged 4 –11 years old, don’t miss this year’s Spring Fling on 10th April at the Norfolk Showground. Come along to learn more about food, farming and the countryside, and ask us any questions you have about our products. Tractor rides run all day and there are some brilliant hands-on educational activities to try, including a lambing simulator!

 

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