Lettuce educate. Everyone must join the movement for a sustainable and clean-energy future. A school in Donegal shows how it can be done.

‘We couldn’t stop the lettuce growing’: Donegal pupils work the school plot

Three students have been harvesting vegetables to supply to local hotels and restaurants.

‘We couldn’t stop the lettuce growing’: Donegal pupils work the school plot

Three students have been harvesting vegetables to supply to local hotels and restaurants

Freya McClementsin Moville for The Irish Times


Of all the pupils who are preparing to go back to school this week, there are three students who have never really been away.
All through the summer holidays, Stephen Havlin, Danielle McDermott and Shane Crumlish have spent their Thursday mornings in an “outdoor classroom” at Moville Community College in Co Donegal. They’ve been working – growing vegetables in the school’s polytunnel, which they then supply to the local hotel and restaurant trade.
“We’re growing for the community, by the community, to be enjoyed by the community,” explains Crumlish, “and it’s also helping to tackle climate change.”
“There are no air miles here,” explains chef Brian McDermott. The owner of the Foyle Hotel, on Moville’s main street, he is proud to list the school on his menus as one of his suppliers.
“The students deliver their produce once a week – they put it in boxes and walk down from the school to the hotel. Their carrots and cabbage were on our Sunday lunch menu last weekend.”
The trio began studying horticulture as part of transition year. When the summer came, they volunteered to keep working on their plot to benefit from the summer growing season. McDermott had already spotted the polytunnel, and suggested the students link up with the hospitality industry.

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