The Grain Chain

Archive for May, 2009

New podcast, recipe ideas for Father’s Day and lots more

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Long hot summer predicted

Early weather predictions are forecasting a long, hot dry summer, which is great news for summer barbecues and festivals, but what are the implications for grain production? If you are planning a lesson on the growing year, there are plenty of resources on the Grain Chain site to support you. For example, this activity on growing our food shows how temperature affects wheat growth for students aged 7 to 11.  

Don’t forget Dad! 

Sunday 21 June is Father’s Day. Why don’t you suggest your students cook dad breakfast to say thank you? The Grain Chain recipe for scrambled egg and bacon baskets would be ideal, or students could use the recipe search function and select ‘breakfasts’ to find other ideas.

New Grain Chain podcast

The third topical Grain Chain podcast has recently been published on the site. This time, the theme is ‘Food and Values’, where you can join teenager Franz in his quest to find out what matters most to consumers in an economic downturn.

Open Farm Sundayofs_logo

Sunday 7 June is Open Farm Sunday: an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the countryside, discover what it means to be a farmer and try produce fresh from the farm. The Open Farm Sunday website promises that ‘each event will be unique with its own activities – based around the host farm’s individual story. Activities during the day may include a farm walk, nature trail, tractor & trailer rides, pond dipping, activities for kids, mini farmers markets or picnics.’ Use their handy ‘find a farm’ search tool to find your nearest farm hosting an event.

Grain Chain Team at the Highland Show

The Royal Highland Show takes place on the 25 – 28 June 2009.  This year the Grain Chain Team will be baking bread rolls alongside a milling activity.  This gives the children an opportunity to see how wheat is turned into flour to make the bread rolls. To find out more about the Royal Highland Show visit

Walk the walk, talk the talk

Friday, May 1st, 2009

boy and girl walking to school

Welcome to the latest entry of the Grain Chain blog, aiming to bring you news, information, teaching ideas and resources in connection with the grain chain.

Walk to School Week 2009

18 – 22 May is National Walk to School Week. This year’s theme is ‘Walk ‘n’ Talk’, focusing on the social side to walking to school. Why don’t you suggest your students walk to school with a friend?

If you teach 7-11s you could use the ‘Energy In, Energy Out’ lessons on the Grain Chain site to explore why we need energy, where it comes from and how we use it. Any age group could use the pedometer experiment.

Controversy over Government’s healthy eating campaign

An advert featuring a young girl eating a cupcake accompanied by the slogan ‘Is premature death so tempting?’ has provoked outrage. Among its critics are parent groups, the National Obesity Form, and chef Delia Smith.  Meanwhile, Australia’s Miss Universe contestant has been criticised  for  being too thin.

Body image and healthy eating are important topics for personal, social and health education at all ages. These stories may give an interesting route in to these topics, and for older students you could use the Grain Chain podcast on Diets and Weight Loss.

The Grain Chain visits County Shows

The Suffolk Farm and County Fair in April was a sell-out, with 3,500 children attending. The Grain Chain Team was situated in the Countryside Pavillion, which was extremely busy all day.

This month, the Grain Chain Team will be visiting the Hertfortshire County Show on 23 and 24 May, and the Suffolk Show on 27 and 28 May.  If you are attending one of the events, pop in and say hello! 

Hertfordshire County Show includes: specialist food hall, farmers’ market, free children’s entertainment, climbing wall, a sheep show and a rabbit tent! You’ll find the Grain Chain team next to the baby farm animals, offering baking activities.

Suffolk Show: includes show jumping, ‘parade of hounds’ and a pig auction, plus local produce to taste and buy. The Grain Chain Team will be offering Grain Art, baking and paper making activities.

Remember that we welcome your comments on our blog – your thoughts on the issues we raise, or what you think of the information we’re providing.  If you’ve visited one of the summer agricultural shows, we’d love to hear about it.