Posts Tagged ‘school garden’

Springtime gardening by the sea

April 22nd, 2015 | Garden Diaries | 0 Comments

raised beds in this Incredible Edible Ilfracombe garden

Springtime has seen steady progress at the Incredible Edible Ilfracombe Community Garden; Laston Green.

The polytunnel in IlfracombeWe signed ourselves up to participate in The Big Dig with just a couple of weeks notice of the late-March nationwide event.  It was a great opportunity to get some muscle power in for help with some of the manual work, and to involve more local families.

There has been quite a bit of basic grounds maintenance to do with such a large plot of land, and there are so many ideas on how to best use the space that we would like to see come to fruition.  The best place to start was to assemble a working party and get everyone to roll up their sleeves.

We enlisted the adults to clear space for our individual raised beds.   These are aimed as ‘starter plots’ for small families who would like to have a go at Grow Your Own, without the size commitment of an allotment.   On the site, the polytunnel is now ready to be occupied by many tomato, cucumber and pepper plants.  Our fruit trees were pruned back to a more manageable hedgerow, and the raised beds were filled with soil and compost ready for their new caretakers.

image2Throughout the day children were kept occupied with a range of craft and sowing activities, planting out Aguadulce Broad Beans sowing and painting paper-plate sunflowers.

It was a hard working day for all in order to get the plot into shape in such a short space of time and Harry, our youngest ‘big’ volunteer, showed true commitment to the cause and kept on digging until every else had left!

Meanwhile, our fortnightly pre-school gardening club have been learning about seedlings.   The group created window greenhouses to watch the seeds burst from their shells and turn into a seedling.   The children have also been kept busy making miniature bug hotels to take home to see which mini beasts choose to move in.   There has also been lots of sowing, with plenty of tomato, bell pepper and cucumber seeds started off.

With the longer days and summer around the corner we have lots to look forward to from participating within local events, harvesting our summer fruits and forward planning for the months to come.



Mr Fothergill’s have supplied the Incredible Edible pre-school garden club in Ilfracombe with all the seeds they need to produce a really productive school garden this year.  The Incredible Edible pre-school gardening blog posts are written by parent Lindsay Derbyshire who also co-ordinates Incredible Edible Ilfracombe.  Find out more about Incredible Edible on their Facebook page 

Green-fingered reception class gets growing

February 26th, 2015 | Garden Diaries, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 1 Comment

Woolaston Primary School Garden Club

Discovery Class pupils at Woolaston Primary School in Gloucestershire have wellies and watering cans at the ready.  They’re all set for a school garden adventure!

The four and five year olds got a taste for gardening in the autumn when they planted bulbs with teacher Mrs Price. Excitement has been mounting ever since the first green spears broke the soil in December. Now the snowdrops are in full bloom and the daffs aren’t far off.  The children are hooked: they can’t wait to get sowing and growing this spring.

We’ve been working with Mr Fothergill’s to decide the best flowers and vegetables to grow in the school garden. The biggest challenge is choosing varieties that will be ready before the summer holidays at the end of July.


Sweet peas  were at the top of our flower list, closely followed by Cosmos and Calendula. As well as being prolific flowerers, these three have nice big seeds that will be easy for reception pupils to handle.

We’ve got a packet of Candytuft seeds which should offer a low-maintenance way to brighten up the classroom’s outdoor area. And we hope to transform a weedy patch by the tyre trail into a nature garden with an RSPB Flower seed mix


Carrots were a must – the Discovery Class eats them at snack time several times a week. We went for a round variety that can be grown in containers outside the classroom. Perhaps we’ll team them up with the Candytuft.

Peas had to feature too. Eaten fresh from the pod, they’re a sure-fire way to get our young gardeners fixed on growing their own for life.

We’ve also got Broad Beans, Garlic, lots of salad leaves and some cheerful multi-coloured varieties of Radish and Beetroot.  Tomatoes might be tricky, but we’re going to give them a go. The variety we chose is Sub-Arctic Plenty – its fruit can set in cold weather, so even if we have a chilly start to summer a few may ripen before the end of July.

Lastly, we decided to throw in some Leeks . They won’t be ready until the autumn, but maybe the class can make some leek soup to share with the incoming reception pupils. With a bit of luck we’ll get them hooked on gardening too.

Next steps

Getting an early start is essential to ensure we have lots of flowers and veg before the summer holidays. We’re going to sow as much as we can in March and early April – but tender crops and some flowers will have to wait until after the Easter holidays.

Keep in touch over the next few months to see what we’re up to, the challenges we face and what we learn along the way. Share your gardening experiences and tips too – we’d love to hear them!

Here’s the full list of what we’re growing, all carefully selected for early flowering and cropping:


Mr Fothergill’s have supplied Woolaston Primary School with all the seeds they need to produce a really productive school garden this year.  The Woolaston Primary School gardening blog posts are written by school parent Mary Hamblyn.  She also blogs at  

Mud, mud, glorious mud for the Incredible Edible Ilfracombe pre-school garden club

February 26th, 2015 | Garden Diaries, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Incredible Edible Ilfracombe pre-school garden club site

Launched back in January and meeting fortnightly, the Incredible Edible Ilfracombe pre-school club is proving to be a fun and hands-on experience for families wishing to start/learn more about growing our own food together.

Making seedbombs in Ilfracombe

With half-term on our hands and the first opportunity to involve older siblings and friends, a great tutorial on making seed bombs popped up on Twitter;

  • 1 part mixed salad seed
  • 1 part compost to 5 parts sticky clay consistency soil

What a great idea, a spot of cheeky food sharing throughout town and a hands on muddy activity for the kids to really get involved with.

So, the first task chosen, we just had to decide on what to fill our seed bombs with, and we chose Radish Patricia, Spring Onion – Lilia, and American Land Cress.

Unfortunately, the morning of our meeting brought rain, and a lot of it.  Parts of the garden were looking more like an episode of Peppa Pig with muddy puddles everywhere.

Reluctant to postpone, the polytunnel became a make-shift shelter so the planned activities could continue with hope the weather would ease.  Local artist Francesca Owen helped to create to the seed bomb gloopy mixture whilst eager parents and the younger children were paper pot making, seed sowing and labelling up Globe Artichoke and Asparagus Ariane seed for our newly constructed permanent raised beds.

Thankfully the rains eased enough for a brave few to get outside and plant some Sarpo Mira main crop potatoes. Dug straight into the ground which had previously been prepared with a ‘lasagne’ technique of layered cardboard and manure.

The children squealed with delight when numerous wiggly worms were found and holes were haphazardly dug out for burying the potatoes within. We chose to not chit our potatoes, with the jury out on should we/shouldn’t we – it was felt best to take the opportunity and to just get them into the ground.

As the rains returned, we all retreated to the shed for well earned pancakes and hot cocoa with the promise of spring and outdoor picnics to look forward to.

Processed with Moldiv


Mr Fothergill’s have supplied the Incredible Edible pre-school garden club with all the seeds they need to produce a really productive school garden this year.  The Incredible Edible pre-school gardening blog posts are written by parent Lindsay Derbyshire who also co-ordinates Incredible Edible Ilfracombe.  Find out more about Incredible Edible on their Facebook page 

Mr Fothergill’s steps in to help after children’s primary school garden is vandalised

September 23rd, 2013 | News | 0 Comments

10/09/13 Donation presentation at Burton End Primary

David Turner of Mr Fothergill’s meets the children of Burton End Primary School to hand over new seeds and plants to help them repair their vandalised school garden

Staff at Mr Fothergill’s in Suffolk were saddened to learn that children at a local primary school returned after the summer holiday to find their school garden had been vandalised.   The garden they had been tending the term before had been badly damaged including ripped up apple trees and benches.

“We read an article about the crime at Burton End Primary School in the Haverhill Weekly News and were determined to help get the children gardening again,” said the company’s joint managing director John Fothergill. “There is no better way of letting children understand how food is produced than by growing their own.”

Mr Fothergill’s David Turner (pictured here) visited the school garden in early September armed with a wide assortment of vegetable seeds and an offer to supply fruit trees of the school’s choice. “It was sad to know that someone would go and do something like this,” commented David.

Head teacher at Burton End School Fay Trussler said the children would appreciate sowing the seeds and tending the plants as they are enthusiastic gardeners.