CHILDREN and families are getting their hands dirty this summer by growing their own fruit and vegetables.

The project, led by Growing Healthy County Durham’s Family Initiative Supporting Children’s Health (FISCH) team, aims to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles. This includes educating people about where food comes from and the benefits of planting and growing produce.

Launched last year, it has proven a great success, with many children and families helping out at the FISCH plot at Rosedale and Victoria Allotment Association in Willington. It is supported by Durham Community Action’s Growing Durham initiative and has seen people plant tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beetroot and broccoli so far this year. Once grown, families will be given healthy recipes and ideas for how best to use their vegetables.

Joanne Dodds, community health assistant, in the FISCH Team, said: “The project is really important to educate children and their families on where their food comes from and so far, the children and their families have been really engaged.

“Each family has a different theme for their own patch and the families decide what to grow to fit that them.”

The Growing Healthy County Durham Healthy Child team is part of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.