In the Spring and Summer of 2023, we have created a small edible garden on a disused patch of ground beside the school drive. Year 1 grew pumpkin plants from seeds and Green Team cleared the ground and planted the pumpkins along with some strawberry, tomato and chilli plants. When the weather was dry, the children watered the plants at lunchtimes and during Forest School sessions.
The soil was very dry, stony and pretty poor, so we also planted clover and vetch seeds to add nitrogen and poppy seeds to bring some colour. These have grown very well!
In the playground, we upcycled some milk crates to make a bug hotel with a container garden on top, where we planted raddishes, beetroot and more strawberry plants. This meant that every child could watch them grow over the term and check on them at playtimes.
Our work has gained us the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Awards, Levels 1 and 2, but it is just the beginning! This has been a trial phase to discover what could be grown, what might work well and how best to use the space we have. We are planning to develop this next year into a mini allotment-style project, so that the children can sow, plant, tend to and watch food growing. We hope to then harvest enough to give to Val to use in the school kitchen!
Alongside the gardening we've done in school, we have been supporting our link school in Uganda to plant saplings of moringa trees at the homes of 60 children. It's been lovely to have such a closely linked project to support as our children, who have been so excited to watch food growing at school, have also been excited about the moringa trees, which will provide environmental benefits as well as food, medicine and firewood for the families in Uganda. Our green mufti day raised over £250 for the project and we look forward to hearing what a difference the trees will make to the Ugandan families.