Pictured launching The Big Grow 2021 are sisters Millie Foley and Pippa Foley - innocent and GIY are calling on teachers to sign up for a free food growing kit for primary school classrooms this Spring. (Picture: Patrick Browne)

Schools may be closed, but innocent and GIY are calling on teachers to sign up for free food growing classroom kits to welcome them back when the doors are open again.

The tenth year of The Big Grow has kicked off, a campaign started by innocent and GIY to get kids growing their own veg at school, helping thousands of schools to get free growing resources.

Schools all over the country are again invited to apply to The Big Grow for a food growing kit which comes with five packs of different seeds and enough compost, growing cups, instructions, and fun lesson plans for the entire class.

Although schools are closed at the moment, these will be sent out once everyone’s back in class, just in time to start the growing season.

The growing cups are easy for kids to take home and do the activities from the comfort of their kitchen too.

Each school taking part in The Big Grow will be encouraged to share their growing experiences online in order to be in with a chance of being crowned The Big Grow Champs 2021 and be awarded a school garden revamp.


The winners of the 2020 Big Grow were St Patrick’s Boys and Girls Primary School in Lombard Street in Galway City.

The school own a small concrete yard and used the space to create an incredible ‘Vertical Garden’ using every inch of space and even placing pallets on walls to grow peas, lettuce, spinach, potatoes and lots more.

Encouraging all schools to get involved in The Big Grow this year, the students of St Pat’s offered their 5 top tips for school growing success:

  1. Start a ‘Gardening Club’ and make gardening and growing food accessible to everyone in the school. Many hands make light work!
  2. Look at everything that you have in a new way – all containers can become pots for growing. Find, forage and re-use.
  3. Prepare your soil. Gather all of the leaves from the playground and create a compost heap for mulch to ‘feed’ your garden soil nutrients. And if your school is by the sea, collect some seaweed on your next nature walk for fertilizer!
  4. Create a rain catcher. We love to collect as much rainwater as we can to water our garden and keep our garden and the environment green.
  5. Make a sensory map of your garden so that visitors can follow it, learn about all the plants that we grow and how they appeal to our five senses. This also makes gardening and visiting a garden lots more fun for those with additional needs.

Teachers can sign up for a free food growing kit at www.innocentbiggrow.com.

Registration is still open while stocks last, and kits will be sent once schools doors are open again based on government guidelines.