This activity – growing vegetables for wildlife – has been a productive and happy task. At home, the children have been extremely busy in their gardens: weeding, sowing, watering, planting, digging, even harvesting radishes…
In school, we have been very busy in the vegetable plot. We are extremely fortunate to have a polytunnel and several raised beds, which have needed weeding and clearing, in preparation for sowing seeds direct into the soil, or planting out seedlings.
So far, we have planted out seed potatoes, parsley, broad beans and runner bean seedlings. We have also dug up and split the chives, moving them into their new bed. The children have made several obelisks from tall bamboo canes, which will support the runner beans as they grow.
The nicest thing has been the wide-ranging conversations. We have had some brilliant general conversations about nature, ranging from poisonous plants to minibeasts. Ants have been a real favourite.
The children have read seed packets, worked out planting distances – between individual plants, and between rows.
Most importantly, they have relished the calming, hands-on nature of gardening – whether it was getting squirted by the tap, while filling up their watering cans, the quiet satisfaction of adding their weeds to the compost bins, or the interest caused by taking home handfuls of chard for dinner.