Energia and GIY are giving away free grow boxes so you can start a vegetable patch with your kids 1 month ago

Energia and GIY are giving away free grow boxes so you can start a vegetable patch with your kids

Ready, steady, grow!

Since lockdown began, thousands of us have discovered the joys to be found in our own outdoor spaces. In gardens, balconies and even windowsills up and down the country, people have been digging beds and planting pots – leading to something of a national celebration when garden centres were allowed to reopen their doors last week.

With the glorious weather aiding the cause, now is the perfect time to spark a love of gardening in your little ones. And what better way to do it than by teaching them how to grow their own food? Not only is it a skill that will last a lifetime, it's a cornerstone of sustainable living too.

When it comes to growing your own, it can be hard to know where to start: you want something that will flourish in a relatively short space of time and that your kids will enjoy tending and, eventually, eating. So, to get you started – and Get Ireland Growing – the not-for-profit organisation GIY has teamed up with Energy to offer free GROWBoxes to 1,000 lucky families across the country.

Each GROWBox contains trays, pots and a compost box that will be the foundation of your patch. There are five packets of vegetable and herb seeds to plant – beetroot, carrots, peas, basil and mixed salad greens – as well as some recipes for creating tasty dishes when your produce is fully grown.

Your little ones will also be delighted to discover a sack of 'bee bombs' inside the box. These can be scattered on a patch of earth or in a pot to create a wildflower meadow that will attract plenty of bees and other wildlife to your garden.

Energia's Get Ireland Growing ambassador, cookbook author Susan Jane White, pictured, says that growing food together with her children has been educational for everyone involved.

"As an advocate for delicious, veggie packed meals, I've found involving my two boys Benjamin and Marty in the garden has given them responsibility and excitement through a beautiful role reversal where they get to teach me about their plants."

To enter the draw to receive a GROWBox, all you have to do is fill out the registration form here.