FAMILIES are being sent plants and seedlings to grow at home during lockdown, to help engage children in a community food project.

The Seed to Plate project received funding from the Heritage Lottery to create an outdoor garden and grow fruit and vegetables as part of an education programme.

And the team involved have been determined to adapt the project to keep it going during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Now they are sending out lettuce plants, sweet peas, peashoots and sunflower seeds from their base in Port Seton to families in East Lothian who receive free meals.

And they are encouraging parents and carers to involve the children in caring for the plants, with plans for a traditional tallest sunflower competition.

In a letter to parents, Daniel Baigrie, East Lothian Council’s community development manager, said Cockenzie and Port Seton in Bloom had recently received funding for the ‘Seed to Plate’ project from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

He said: “The main focus of the project is to help everyone in our community understand how fruit and vegetables grow and what can be cooked with them.

“We are keen that some of the project should still go ahead during lockdown.

“We would like to offer you a sunflower seedling, a lettuce and some sweet peas for each of the children to care for while spending more time at home.

“These are for you to keep, grow and enjoy. We are holding a competition for the tallest sunflower, and will be in touch in due course about how to enter your sunflower.”

The Seed to Plate project had employed two people to oversee the redevelopment of an outdoor classroom garden in the community, which had become neglected.

The project had to be adjusted following lockdown and the decision was made to send packs from Port Seton Centre to families who are receiving free meals.

The project is also inviting people to go to its Facebook page and ask for cucumber plants, which they can cultivate in their own greenhouses, as the team said they had an “abundance” of them.

There are also plans to produce a recipe book for people to find ways to use the produce from the garden. Updates from the outdoor classroom and project can be found at the Seed to Plate Facebook page.