Friday's Reflections

Well what a difference this week, we are all feeling a whole lot more cheerful and looking forward to the Spring. This may be because of the Orchard Training Seed Swop. It has caused quite a stir and a lot of conversation in the last few days. We have a few duplicated seed packets in the pot which can be called up for new growers, if you fancy a go at growing: beetroot, tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts cabbage, okra, aubergine, sprouting seeds, potatoes and herbs. let us know and we can share out the packets - but it will be first come first served. Once they are gone they are gone!

There are some keen growers in the Orchard Training Garden Club down in the Southampton area who took part in the sunflower competition last year. This year, we are all growing two types of tall sunflowers, Hallo sunflowers because we these are the sunflower seeds we could get hold of from the garden centre. These grow to about 150cm tall so it is a fight to see who can grow the tallest. The Titan sunflower, growing to a hight of 300cm were handed into the Seed Swop, when a local gardener hear about the competition. So these will be also shared out between everyone - but it will be a first come first served with these, as we have a limited number of seeds.

The second sunflower competition is the number of flowers per plant. Last year, it was hard to get hold of seeds we wanted and we had to grow what was available. This meant that I lost the competition with my Van Gogh sunflowers that only just grew taller than a school ruler (30cm). However, I was impressed with the variety colours and shapes with this sunflower seed packet., so I will be growing them again this year. The Grandad who started off the competition also was very interested and suggested this second challenge. Together, we have chosen Little Leo, for this challenge, as a dwarf plant that is good for pots to allow those of you who don't have the space for very tall sunflowers. We should get beautiful proportioned mini multi flowerhead sunflower. The biggest number of heads on the plant at any one time, is the challenge. These have to be verified by either myself or our helpful grandad, depending upon where you live and Covid-19 rules.

We will be sharing out the seeds and instructions nearer the time but if you want to take part in the competitions you do need to register with your teacher.

The other thing I think cheered everyone up this week was the recipe for this week in the Orchard Training Cookery Club we have a variety of blueberry pancakes over the year groups. Now who isn't going to cheer up for a plate full of blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Just what you need to get you started for the ratios in Y8 and the Bodmas in Year 7, fractions in Y5, division in Y3 and spellings in Y2, Y1 and Reception.

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