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National Trust launches Food Glorious Food website for kids

LONDON - The National Trust has launched a website called Food Glorious Food as part of a campaign to inspire children to plant and eat their own local and seasonal food.

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The Food Glorious Food website has been developed to support families as they teach their children to understand and get involved in growing food.

It features a vegetable patch where children can care for virtual plants in real time, as well as games and downloads.

Parents can also access factual information and advice, including a guide to growing each of the seeds in the garden and child-friendly recipes.

Once registered, young growers will receive weekly advice from National Trust characters (Farmer Fred, Sean the Chef and Pest Controller Patsy) on how to nurture their plants.

They will also receive messages from their virtual plants.

The website is part of the National Trust's Food Glorious Food campaign, which has been developed and run by Forster, the social change communications agency.

Fran Mullins, digital project director at Forster, said: "We were challenged with creating a website that would inspire and encourage children and families to grow their own food, and maintain a relationship with them through the growing period of up to 20 weeks.

"We liked the idea of kids growing their own virtual veg online as well as planting real seeds, so came up with the idea of 'My Patch'.

"We created watering and weeding tools, and invented helpful characters who would deliver factual as well as fun information by email.

"The site aims to build a database of users who will be growing their own food for life."

As part of the campaign, the Trust is giving away over 170m free seeds and sharing advice with children through a programme of special events -- over 700 in total at more than 150 of their properties -- between the May half term and the end of October 2009. 

Lucy Bendon, social marketing campaign manager at the National Trust, said: "The National Trust is hoping to reconnect people with locally and seasonally grown food in a way that is relevant, accessible and enjoyable for families and the next generation."

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