As previous winners of the Solana Potato growing competition in 2017, Northgate High School was invited to host the 2018 event in school. This was an exciting opportunity for us to showcase to other schools attending what a fantastic school we have and of course the ideal location being in the External Learning Facility (ELF). The event was organised and sponsored by Solana UK. Managing Director Craig Stephen was delighted to hear that Northgate High School, stepped forward as the first school in Norfolk to host the event and pave the way for other schools to do the same in the future.
This was without question something Mr MacDonald was passionate about doing, the aim to encourage more young people to be involved with growing vegetables and horticulture in general. The idea of growing your own plants from seed and seeing their transformation in front of your eyes is amazing! It has been an interesting journey as all schools entering were presented with the same quantity of potato seeds in June for planting; they were given the same two varieties Belmonda and Princess Pink. The potatoes were planted by the schools and ready for harvest and collecting for judging in September.
The Solana final took place on the 19th of September, the event was attended by the Mayor of Dereham, Hilary Bushell who kindly presented prizes to our visiting schools. The schools attending the event were so complimentary of our area in the ELF, they have asked Mr MacDonald to visit their schools to support them with ideas to develop an area in their own school.
If you are prepared to develop an area it takes time and effort, along with dedicated staff and students to support you. When the sun is shining in the summer it all seems a fantastic time to enjoy the outdoors. Mr MacDonald has been the keeper of the ELF in all the seasons and it is still going strong. This is why it is so important to encourage the next generation of gardeners and growers into the ELF or other areas around our school to give new life to. A prime example of this is the rejuvenation of the seated area at the front of English. This is our school and we should be proud of what we can all achieve to make it even better.