The World Health Organisation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (WHO SDG) were set up in order to enable the global population to achieve equitable access to healthy, productive and peaceful lives on a sustainable planet. The University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences covers a range of taught degrees at both undergraduate-and-postgraduate level in subjects directly linked to these goals, as well as a strong record of research across the food supply chain. Sustainability within food systems is a serious subject and is of vital importance, where sustainability is taken to cover environmental, economic, and social aspects of the ‘sow-eat’ or farm- fork’ concept.
The teaching garden allows students (and staff) to learn soft skills in a proactive and productive way by providing a physical outdoor space that will support learning and development, plus employability skills such as team working, project planning, and public health planning. Further soft skills will be developed including resourcefulness, creativity, communication, curiosity and leadership. In addition to these soft academic skills the mental health benefit for being outside is not to be overlooked with a wide range of research literature supporting this idea. The project will build in sustainability, and outreach/widening participation as part of the overall approach.
Students will work on a ‘farm to fork’ type project. This will allow them to go from sowing the seeds and caring for the plants right the way through to cooking and eating what has been grown. Produce grown will be used to cook dishes in the Dietetics Lab with close involvement with relevant community sectors including those that are isolated or disadvantaged.
Over time the aim is to have the Kitchen Teaching Garden incorporated throughout Bioscience degrees, alongside working with local communities. As new students come through, they will continue the work of previous students and be able to add their own creativity to the project.
See what is currently being grown below.