Afterschool Gardening Club 2022
This week's session started with Chef Mark who had been kind enough to make some rhubarb and raspberry jam with the fruit that was picked by the children during last weeks session. Chef Mark spoke about the different ingredients and method used to produce the jam, and allowed everyone to have a little taste. The children also got to take a little jar of the jam home and enjoy with their family.
This week we also managed to find a hose long enough to reach and fill up our water butts, so we were able to give all the plants a good soak - just what they need in this weather!
Seeds were gathered from our chives which we will save to sow next season, and more sweetpeas were cut.
THIS WEEKS STAR GROWER
For always coming to the club prepared!
Another great week for our young gardeners who enjoyed harvesting our miniature round carrots!
The group took the opportunity to walk around the garden and observe how much the plants were growing.
THIS WEEK'S STAR GROWER
For her fantastic flower cutting skills!
The vegetable/flower beds are starting to fill out and look great, with the promise of lots to harvest in the weeks to come. There is an abundance of wildlife to observe on our school garden at the moment and children are particularly fascinated with the aphids that seem to be enjoying our cosmos flowers (and the ants that seem to be enjoying the aphids!)
The children enjoyed cutting their first bunch of sweetpeas this week which have been placed on school Reception for all to enjoy!
Our school goats were very playful this week!
Our Star Grower this week spent the entire session fetching and carrying watering cans from main school up to the garden.....and the plants really did need it. WELL DONE!
This week our gardeners saw just how much the flowers and vegetables are benefitting from the glorious sunshine we have been having lately!
The children enjoyed harvesting yet more radish and salad crops as well as a third batch of rhubarb!
Budding Garden Designers!
The children had fun using their art skills this week. Some children chose to design their own gardens, whilst others drew things they enjoy about the school garden. Our school goats seem to be very popular!
This week our Star Grower was able to choose some friends to visit our new bunny rabbit, Bella.
This week was a busy one for our young gardeners as our two rainwater butts had ran out of water which meant lots of trips down to main school to fill up the watering cans (great exercise!)
Salad leaves and radishes were harvested and were served on the children's salad/deli bar at lunchtime.
The children were very excited to see that the pumpkin plants had started to develop fruit and look forward to seeing just how large they will grow in time for Halloween this autumn.
The children planted a blueberry bush and attached some netting within the potting shed to support the Cucumelon and Luffa plants.
The flowers that were planted around the potting shed have started to bloom and attract a whole host of wildlife including bees, butterflies and lady bugs.
THIS WEEKS STAR GROWER!
The Gardening Club had a special guest this week.....Chef Mark! The children enjoyed showing Chef Mark around the garden where he got to see what produce he'll be receiving in the school kitchen in the coming weeks.
Our Star Grower!
Sparken Hill Academy recently became home to a new bunny rabbit and each week our Star Grower will get to choose a friend to visit the bunny.
After only a few weeks, our young gardeners know what tasks need completing around the garden and execute them confidently. Potatoes were once again earthed up this week and crops of beetroot and chard were sown. The children used their best handwriting to label up the rows of seeds and took turns of their most favourite job.....watering!!
We had a plant identification session where the children were able to identify a variety of seedlings by how they smell as well as look!
The group potted on some more 'exotic' varieties of vegetables including Cucumelons (cucumbers that look like miniature melons), and Luffas - as in the sponge!
Our 'Star Grower' this week did amazingly well in the plant identification session and is very brave when it comes to minibeasts! WELL DONE!
It was another great week for our young gardeners who got straight to work watering all the vegetables that were planted last week.
As well as enjoying the beautiful flowers, the children earthed up the potatoes and learned about successional sowing of salad seeds that will ensure our catering team will have a steady flow of produce throughout the rest of the summer term.
The children were pleased to see that many of their sunflower seeds had germinated and look forward to taking the seedlings home to grow on in their own gardens.
The group also got involved in the RHS Communities Grow Well initiative by sowing some calendula seeds; the plants and flowers of which will be gifted by the children as small acts of kindness that will brighten someone’s day. For more information on RHS Community initiatives please visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/community-gardening where you will find a plethora of information about local projects along with resources that you may find useful for your own gardening projects.
A big WELL DONE to this week’s star grower who was chosen for her outstanding contribution this week.
This week the children planted up the beds with an array of vegetables including carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins to name but a few.
The children learned how to handle seedlings when transferring from pots and the importance of not damaging the stem. Once all the plants were in, the children took it in turns to water them in - a task they really enjoy!
We managed to find a little time at the end of the session to become acquainted with the school goats!
At the end of the session the 'Star Grower' Award was presented to a young gardener who did a fantastic job with all tasks and ventured in with the goats despite being initially hesitant. WELL DONE!
The Star Grower Award will be presented each week.
After learning about different tools and how to use them safely, the children prepared the soil in the newly refurbished beds ready for planting . In the coming weeks, seeds of various fruits and vegetables will be sown and all resulting produce will be incorporated into the school lunch menu by Chef Mark and his team. This week the catering team made a delicious crumble using the harvested rhubarb.
The children planted two varieties of potatoes, courtesy of Grow Your Own Potatoes who provided the school with a free potato growing kit.
Sweetpea flower seeds that were harvested by last years gardening group had been sown before the Easter break and were ready to be planted out. We're hoping to get plenty of fragrant booms from these this year!
The children helped create wigwam structures to support the sweetpeas and runner beans.
Afterschool Gardening Club 2021
Our young gardeners/farmers have had a fantastic growing season this year.
From starting out the season sowing seeds, to harvesting produce and supplying the school kitchen - it really has been a true 'farm to fork' experience!
As well gardening, the children had a great time tending to the farm animals, pond dipping and observing the wildlife patch.