We are very happy to announce that, new for this year, we will be running a gardening club. I have just been able to get out in to the garden again after my fall last March. I have been looking around at all the weeks and the state the garden has got into without me being out there for all 9 months.
When I was a full-time teacher I often ran the school garden club. Whilst I worked in the lower year groups, we often had small classroom gardens to grow things in and to observe insects. I have really missed sharing the knowledge I have, so Orchard Training now has its very own Garden Club.
I know form my many conversations with many of you that you much prefer to be out and about outside than sitting inside. so, I am hopeful that many of you will enjoy these activities.
This comes under optional subjects to study, but you will still be able to use it against the learning time hours.
It's January now, and there is not too much to be done out in the garden in the way of growing. But on a bright, sunny, dry, winter’s day being out in the garden is fabulous. If the ground is too wet to walk on - then it is time to get the garden broom out and give the pathways and drive a good brush. If you don’t have one, then volunteer to help your grandparents or elderly neighbours with their paths. If you do this will count as citizenship in your learning diary.
If the weather is just too wet and cold where you are, then the it's time to think about what and where you can start your own garden. You can’t just go out and dig the family garden up. You will need to have a conversation about where your little bit of garden will be. If you haven’t got any bigger than a balcony, then negotiations about how and when to bring compost bags through, need to take place.
Once you have permission, it is time to think about what you will grow. There is no point growing anything you’re not going to eat. There is nothing more satisfying than sitting down to a meal where one or more of the ingredients have been produced from your own garden or allotment. As soon as dinner is served, every moment of hard work and effort that goes into growing your own is immediately rewarded. It’s surprisingly easy to create a fruitful harvest, even if space in your garden is at a premium.
You might like to join the Cooking club as well as the garden club to enjoy tasty recipes made with the fruit and vegetables grown in your garden. You will learn how to preserve your excess by freezing safely and bottling. With the help of an adult you can make the most of your garden produce and make some lovely Christmas gifts at relatively low cost.
Once your freezer and store room are full, why not get out your recipe books and try a new dish and use up some of your Design and Technology time?
Here at the garden club we will be doing something in the garden almost every week, even if it is not a traditional learning week. For example, over the summer holidays you will have to harvest your fruit and vegetables otherwise they will just rot.
Many vegetables, fruits and herbs can also be grown in containers or in pots on windowsills which offers a great way to get started with grow your own. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your produce and hopefully keep excess produce known as ‘gluts’ to a minimum.
In the meantime, I am looking at getting the weeds cleared, the compost bins moved and reacquainted with my garden.