International aid agency World Vision has launched a global version of the old-fashioned village vegetable competition – so UK gardeners can show off their home-grown efforts to the world!
The online contest, called Growing for Change, will raise awareness about child malnutrition in the Andes of Bolivia, South America’s poorest country, where a panel of judges will select the winning entry later this year.
UK gardeners have got until the end of September to take a picture of the homegrown vegetable that they are most proud of and upload it at www.worldvision.org.uk/grow.
People across the UK will then vote for their favourite vegetable and the top ten will be judged by the expert growers in Bolivia.
Many common vegetables fail to survive in Bolivia because of harsh mountain conditions including a scorching tropical sun, freezing nights, winds and flash floods. But a new greenhouse project means children are tasting nutritious fruit and veg for the first time in their lives.
Chris Weeks, a spokesperson for World Vision UK, said: “Growing your own vegetables isn’t that easy if you live 15,000 feet up a mountain with no access to transport. It means some children in Bolivia only eat starchy food like potatoes, leading to all sorts of lifelong medical problems.
“Our Growing for Change vegetable contest is a bit of fun, with the serious aim of showing families in Bolivia that we care about the issue – and that we’ll join them in the fight to end generations of child malnutrition.”
Figures from the government of Bolivia show 11,500 children die each year in the country due to causes related to malnutrition.
The Growing for Change judging panel live in a remote part of the Andes, in a district called Tacopaya. They are growing their own salad, fruit and vegetables in greenhouses built with help from World Vision.
The winner of the online competition will be announced in October and will receive a prize of £500 worth of gardening tools, pots, seeds and plants from plantify.co.uk – with a £500 donation going to a World Vision nutrition project.