Yesterday I was lucky to attend the press day at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and see the Henri Le Worm community garden. Henri Le Worm is a character created by Olivier Blanc (son of chef Raymond) and Charlotte Salt. He has his own website and app which are aimed at encouraging children to engage with food and nature. The app is narrated by Simon Pegg and has a number of games as well as recipes that your little ones can help cook.
Creator Olivier Blanc said that he had modeled the worm on his father and he is featured on the children's menus at Brasserie Blanc. Henri and his amazing cooking adventures brings to life the journey of plot to pot.
The garden was created by former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins. It was designed with children in mind. He advised that it is important to get little ones interested in the environment and that he often uses a dalek composter when he talks to school groups to engage them. Little man loved the garden and made himself at home by watering the flowers.
All the children were excited by the chickens. Little man has loved chickens ever since we stayed on a farm this Easter. Infact it is activities like this that the team are keen to encourage. Speaking to Raymond Blanc he advised how taking children to Pick Your Own farms, growing their own vegetables and exploring nature are all things we should encourage to help them understand the environment and where their food comes from.
The garden had some fantastic bug houses and little man loved the wormery, Shouting "Wakey up worms!"
We were then treated to a cookery demo from Raymond Blanc. He talked about using seasonal and locally grown produce. He advised us to be careful with the amount of salt and sugar we add to our food. Instead of salt, he suggested using herbs, lemon or vinegar to add flavour instead. He prepared some wonderfully flavoursome and fresh dishes that can be easily made at home.
Seeing the garden and listening to the ideas behind it, really did get me thinking. As a busy Mum I am often guilty of choosing a prepared meal rather than cooking from scratch and it is the added sugar and salt in these dishes that concerns me. I shall be making an effort to involve the children in preparing meals as well as encouraging them to grow more of their own food. We have a bumper crop of potatoes thanks to big man this year so that is a start.
If you are off to the flower show this week and want a sneaky peek at some of the fantastic show gardens you will see then here are some of my favourites.
We had a lovely time at RHS Hampton Court Flower show and I will be making some of the fantastic recipes that we were shown and those from the app too. Watch this space. You can download the app on itunes and android and Henri Le Worm can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Now that is one worm who knows his social media. Thanks to the whole Henri le worm team for inviting us.
How do you encourage your children to learn about the environment and the food they eat?