On arrival, approximately 3.40pm, the children enjoyed healthy snacks and fruit juice provided. The first activity was a treasure hunt game - 'Shapes', in which everyone took part. The task was to find things in the garden which were different shapes and write them down on the sheet provided. Some of the shapes were quite challenging but the children really surprised us with their powers of observation, and most managed to complete the list. There were some interesting and original answers. One team, judged to have found the best answers, were rewarded with a prize of mini Easter eggs. Here is the worksheet they were given:
During the week, the groups had chosen their names. These are:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Star Fruit
- sowing broad bean seeds outside in the peas and beans bed. The children really enjoyed working the soil and sowing the seeds, and did a very neat job. It will probably take a couple of weeks for the seeds to germinate - the soil has been quite cold recently, so some slightly warmer weather would be welcome.
- composting - sorting what is/what is not compostable. The children were also given a composting bag to take home. (Last week's composting group had brought theirs back full of compostable items collected at home - these were added to the compost heap).
- selecting and harvesting vegetables for today's cookery session (broccoli and Birdoswald cheese quiche, with a potato and leaf salad).
Grown on tissue paper/kitchen roll
The activities kept the children busy throughout, and once again the time went quickly. It was soon 4.30, and time to walk across to the Methodist Hall to prepare and cook today's meal.
There is a nice snapshot video of the cookery session on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Loverslanecommunitygarden, but unfortunately, we don't have any photos of the garden activities/participation. Must try and take some next week. If anybody has any from this or other sessions and willing for them to be used on the blog, please let us know.
Next week, it is planned to get the children outside in the garden more (providing the weather is suitable). There are a number of digging, weeding and tidying jobs to do. We also put some seed peas to soak last week, and these should be ready to sow in pots. Once they get growing, it's hoped these will provide a continuous crop of pea shoots for salad use. Also, a 'square foot' garden (below) has been constructed in the polytunnel: this provides a miniature garden per each child.
They will prepare the soil by adding and mixing in some compost, then will transplant various seedlings into their 'square foot'. Seedlings are unfortunately hard to come by at this time of the year, but we have found a few growing in the polytunnel, such as coriander and rocket, and are also planning to plant some onion sets and garlic. It might look similar to this in a few weeks (we hope):
Another job is to pot the strawberry plants which have overwintered in the polytunnel: the children can take them home and look after them and see how they progress.
Then, produce needs to be chosen and harvested for the cookery session. That's usually decided on the day. After that, if there's enough time left, some beds need to be cleared of last year's expired crops. We then have another 'treasure hunt' sheet lined up, in the unlikely event we run out of things to do.