The reception children have been reading Oliver’s Vegetables by Vivian French. They have been picking, peeling, slicing, grating and cutting vegetables as well as cooking with them. In true Eco school style they decided to put the leftover peelings etc to good use and created this wonderful piece of art.
On returning to school after the long summer break, the children were amazed to find the vegetable garden full of produce. We found runner beans, French beans, black beans, 2 gigantic pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, chillies, courgettes, pears, apples, rhubarb, lemon grass, basil, mushrooms and the biggest potato I have ever seen.
The children have been harvesting, measuring, weighing and creating artwork inspired by our produce.
Get the kids outside and let them get messy. It only takes a bit of soap and water for a happier, healthier, more rounded child.
Researchers now recommend playing in the dirt as a way to boost the body’s immune system, that digging in the dirt (and even ingesting a little bit of it) actually can help decrease a child’s risk of allergies. Dirt is also great for the immune system, especially in children. Playing in dirt reduces rates of asthma, eczema, and other diseases. It has also been linked to reducing the occurrence of attention disorders, depression (yes, in children), and obesity. Children who play outside laugh more, which means they’re happy! it also means their blood pressure and stress levels are lower.
We could all probably stand for a little more mud and a lot more laughter in our lives! The advantages outweigh the detriment of getting muddy.
Fun in the mud, relaxed happy children
Myatt’s Field Greenhouse project
Christchurch School has been fortunate enough to win our bid to become one of the ten local, food growing projects supported by Myatt’s Fields Park in 2013-14.
The scheme is funded by City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity, under its Growing Localities programme.
The park, which has a large greenhouse and a newly appointed community gardener Fabrice Boltho, has offered the following help with our project:
Eight half-day sessions of horticultural training and support, delivered either at the projects’ sites or at Myatt’s greenhouse.
The opportunity to start seedlings off in the park greenhouse.
12, horticulture training days at Myatt’s Fields Park greenhouse
and a small grant of £250 to buy resources.
Comfrey is a large herb, native to Europe, which grows prolifically in damp places such as river banks.
What is brilliant about comfrey is that it contains high levels of all the essential nutrients for plant growth: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK)
There are many great ways to use comfrey around the garden:
- Mulch: Leaves can be cut and left to wilt for a couple of days before piling them around hungry plants such as potatoes and tomatoes as a thick mulch.
- Dig in: Wilted leaves can be dug into ground that is being prepared for a new crop and will break down to give an excellent feed.
- Liquid Fertilizer: Comfrey leaves can be crammed into a large container with a hole in the bottom with a small container underneath to catch the thick black liquid which will be produced in a few weeks. Weighing the comfrey down with an old brick will help this process and some people add rainwater but this does make the resulting ‘comfrey tea’ smell awful! Once produced, the liquid should be diluted 15:1 with water before using it as a leaf feed for plants such as tomatoes.
- Potting Soil: Comfrey leaves can be shredded and mixed with leaf-mould to produce a balanced soil for plants in pots, although it is a little strong for young seedlings.
- Compost Activator: Adding high-nitrogen sources is a great way to boost ‘hot-composting’ if you have the right balance of green and brown shredded material. Comfrey, being high in nitrogen, is ideal for this and should be well combined with the whole mixture rather than adding it as a layer.
Year 1 have been working extremely hard weeding and preparing the raised beds ready for our school fete. At the fete we will be planting tomatoes and learning how to look after them.
The Bug signs are in place and being used by all classes visiting the garden.
We spotted our first frog swimming happily around in our roof garden pond.
How many Froglets can you spot
We have been working hard ensuring that our hundred weight pumpkin will have enough nutrients to grow as large and strong as possible. Weprepared a raised bed with compost and well rotted horse manure.