We are creating a beautiful spot in the centre of the school which is appealing to all the senses, helps children learn more about food production, develops skills for self sufficiency, and is fun!
Our after school club is for children across key stage 2. There is also the opportunity for children to work alongside an adult in the garden at lunchtimes. Children in key stage 1 have the opportunity to garden with their class and look after the plants in their playground.
We aim for the children to enjoy lots of hands-on experience of gardening. We're growing fruit, vegetables and flowers and we will be taking into account what the children would like to grow.
We want to make the garden as eco-friendly as possible, reducing, reusing and recycling as much as we can. We are looking into greenhouses to ensure a longer growing season. We are trying to garden organically and are looking to introducing composting in the near future.
We work frugally, using some of what we grow to raise funds. Donations of vouchers, seeds and seedlings are always appreciated! Our produce is used by the school cook and enjoyed by children having school dinners. We are currently developing a link with the Sutton Food Bank where we will donate produce on a regular basis.
Our garden was joint winner of Merton in Bloom in 2016 and we have achieved the second highest level of awards from the Royal Horticultural Society. If you are interested in helping out with the garden, please contact the school office.
Greening Our Grey Space
In our efforts to develop the Key Stage 1 playground, large planters were recently purchased. Garden club was lucky to get to plant them with a variety of gorgeous perennials which means we will enjoy their beauty year after year. The Green Team will be helping us water them.
As well as planting vegetables in the garden, we have started growing some sunflowers and sweet peas to deliver to our school neighbours a bit later in the term. Hopefully we will brighten up their days!
Food Bank Visit
Following the success of our reverse advent calendar at Christmas, we are delighted to be continuing our work with the Sutton Food Bank.
We visited their sorting offices to learn more about what happened to all the food our school collected in December. We were amazed to see how organised they were, with food being sorted first by date and then into boxes for each of the food banks in our local area.
Over the next few months we will be planting vegetables that we will take to the food bank upon harvesting. We will continue to use produce in our school dinners and sell to our parents but we are so excited to be more involved in helping our community!
The winter months are the perfect time for the garden to have a bit of a rest. The days are usually cold, dark and wet so the gardeners also like a bit of a rest!
That being said, there is still a lot going on in the garden in January. A sunshiny day was the perfect time to get out and harvest the parsnip that were planted last spring. We couldn't believe the size of some of them! The biggest one was longer than a size 6 1/2 shoe!
We were also very happy to see our rhubarb making an appearance. We are planting two more rhubarb plants this year so look out for lots at our garden sales and in the delicious crumbles made for school dinners.
Children have been busy harvesting the rest of the vegetables that we planted in the spring. We were delighted with our recent crop of parsnip, beetroot, and carrots. We even had purple carrots! Year 5 have been making soup in their classes so have used lots of our produce and Jane will be cooking these yummy vegetables for us to enjoy with our roast beef this week!
We are super excited for an upcoming competition! For the cost of 50p, children and adults will be able to guess the weight of one of our garden pumpkins. The closest guess (to the nearest gram!) will win the pumpkin! It would be great for Hallowe'en carving or for roasting and eating! All money raised will be used by garden club to purchase more plants, seeds and tools for the garden. Watch out for more information before half term.
How quickly did the last 6 weeks go?! The garden was very productive over the summer holidays and there is a lot of work to be done. Garden clubs will resume during the week of 11th September and Miss Gunderson is looking forward to working alongside some very talented gardeners and some eager, new gardeners!
Have a look at some of the produce that is currently growing in the garden. Children who have school dinners will be able to enjoy a lot of this next week and we aim to have another sale very soon.