Grow, Cook, Eat - Students Donate Their Time to 'Student Eats' Project

Press Release:             Grow, Cook, Eat - Students Donate Their Time to 'Student Eats' Project  
Release Date:               Thursday 2nd May 2013  
Release Time:              08.55am

‘Student Eats’ is collaboration between the National Union of Students’ (NUS) and Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU) to establish a food growing scheme for students on campus.

The project, led by 3rd year Applied Ecology and Conservation student Justin Groves, kicked off in January after acquiring an unattended walled garden area on campus.

Since then, student volunteers have spent an amazing 285 hours in the garden, cutting back overgrown vegetation, creating raised beds, sowing and planting, proving that students are increasingly becoming more interested in growing their own produce as well as being more  conscious of the ethical and environmental impact of their food choices.

The funding initially received from the NUS (from the Big Lottery’s Local Food scheme) and The University of Reading’s Annual Fund, has enabled the team to purchase the essential tools and equipment needed. Long term the intention is that the organic, nutritious and low-carbon fruit and vegetables, will be sold at low cost to students on campus.

RUSU President, James Fletcher said, ‘In a relatively short space of time, the volunteers have made an enormous impact, working tirelessly through some atrocious weather to transform the space into a functioning vegetable garden. I would like to thank everyone who has donated their time, effort and money in order to kick-start this project into something that promises to be a roaring success. ’

RUSU staff have also taken the project under their wing by maintaining the garden during the vacation period and links with local off-campus charities and groups will encourage members of the local community into the garden to volunteer as well.

Ágnes Knoll, Student Eats Project Officer at the NUS stated, ‘It is great to see that the tenacity of students and staff at RUSU has paid off with this wonderful food growing space.’

The project has funding for a three year period and after that the garden will sustain itself by way of the income from the sales of the produce.


  1. ‘Student Eats’ is a project led by the NUS, supporting institutions across the UK in cultivating their own student-led growing sites for fruit and vegetables. More information at


  1. Anyone interested in offering their time to help with the project can email for more information


Media Contact
Christine Whitburn
Marketing & Events Manager
Reading University Students’ Union
Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AZ
T: 0118 378 4100

Elected Officer Contact
James Fletcher
Reading University Students’ Union
Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AZ
T: 0118 378 4133


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