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Grow Your Own Grub 2023

Now in it’s 6th year, the Mealbarrow competition is a great way to encourage food growing in the school community. New for 2023, we have introduced a ‘bean theme’ to the event, meaning you need to be planting and including beans in your menu!

Further information

The Grow Your Own Grub competition is an annual competition designed to encourage schools to have a go at growing different food items. Schools are challenged to grow at least 5 food items in a wheelbarrow. These foods are then used to inspire a 3 course menu. Mealbarrows are brought together at a showcase event towards the end of the competition where members of the public are invited to vote for their favourites. These votes will be combined with menu judging and final growing reports to find an overall winner. 

What’s changed?

This year, we are asking all schools to include beans in their menu design and growing area. Think fava, runner, French or climbing beans for example! We have also removed the growing area judging to make the process simpler for schools to take part in.

Why Participate?

  • Combining creative culinary skills and gardening, your school is challenged to design a three course menu and grow a minimum of 5 ingredients in your Mealbarrow.
  • Mealbarrows will be showcased at a public event on Saturday 1 July. This is a great way to involve the whole school community!
  • Raise awareness of healthy eating and cooking in your school. Use as part of your Food for Life and Eco-Schools Awards
  • Free food growing training for school staff to take part in.

School Commitments 

  • Create a ‘mealbarrow’ where at least 5 food items will be grown
  • Source a wheelbarrow for the growing – either reuse one from last year or upcycle an old one (ask around in school or get in touch if you are struggling)
  • Provide compost, seeds and/or plug plants to grow (some seeds provided after the training)
  • Attend a free food growing training 4.00-5.30pm - 21 March 2023
  • Design and submit a healthy 3 course menu by Friday 26 May 2023
  • Advertise the competition and the celebration day to parents & families via school newsletters and the school’s social media channels


Please consider the environment.