Students food for thought

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A group of students have created an innovative plant food using locally sourced natural and recycled ingredients, as part of this year’s national Young Enterprise competition.

The Year 10 students, taking part on behalf of Truro School, have named their company The Seaweed Gardeners and developed their first product – Cornish Seaweed Plant Food – as a nutritious food source for plants and home-grown produce.

Sourcing a range of recycled food waste as a base for their product, the girls also visit a number of nearby Cornish beaches to gather their main ingredient – seaweed.

Keya Patwardhan, joint managing director of The Seaweed Gardeners, said: “Our aim is to make people aware of how much they throw away, and show them how useful some of that waste could be. Combining it with seaweed makes a powerful plant food, and we have masses of seaweed available in Cornwall!”

Fellow managing director, Charlotte Crump, added: Everything we use in our product is natural and chemical-free, as we believe plants benefit more from natural ingredients.

“We chose seaweed makes because of the micronutrients in it that protect plants from disease and accelerate healthy growth, making it a great soil enrichment.”

The girls have also extended their eco-friendly ethos to their packaging, using sustainably sourced brown paper bags and designing and producing their own brand stamps and stickers to package their product for sale.

Product director, Emily Becconsall, said: “We are passionate about the environment, and wanted to demonstrate that in all aspects of our product and marketing. We’re currently developing a gift range, which also uses sustainably sourced packaging, ready for our Christmas trade fair.”

The Young Enterprise Christmas Trade Fair, taking place this Saturday (Dec 5) at Cornwall Services near St Austell, will see the launch of the Seaweed Gardeners’ first product and gift range, along with the newly-created products of the other ten schools and colleges taking part from across the county.