Edible Eco Garden
Sowing the first seeds - The Creation of our Edible Eco Garden
In 2015, Coolings Nursery partially sponsored the picket fence surrounding Midfield’s Edible Eco Garden and Managing Director, Gary Carvosso, volunteered himself and his team for two days free labour to install the fence.
We raised £10,000 for the development of the Edible Eco Garden through events, grants and sponsorship and were especially indebted to the Midfield Parent School Association (PSA) for their generous donation of £1,000, which also helped cover the cost of Tree-work, undertaken by contractor David Jones and Daniel Tanner-Hutchins.
It was an ambitious project involving the whole school and our children's families and the local community. Each class had the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables to cook and eat and projects in the garden linked in with all subjects in the curriculum.
The Jack in the Beanstalk display in front of our Main Hall also linked in with the Edible Eco Garden to inform everyone about the progress of fundraising efforts towards the on-going costs of the garden. There's a sunflower 'Totometer' next to the display which is still updated as funds continue to be raised in 2018!
We also planted some Kentish fruit trees – apple, pear, cherry and plum - in a secluded area behind the staffroom, provided picnic tables for all members of staff to enjoy a quiet ‘cuppa’ and are looking forward to enjoying the fruits in the orchard as the trees mature in the years to come.
Our First Harvest 2015
The Edible Eco Garden started taking shape in Spring 2015, when advice was given during a visit by Peter Seabrook (MBE) Journalist and Gardening Guru, to cut the turf to create the various different fruit and vegetable beds. Each class was given a different bed and a particular vegetable or fruit to grow and the garden was in constant use across the curriculum. With plenty of sun, rain and constant watering and weeding by the children, the plants thrived! The fresh garden produce, included potatoes, swede, turnips, chard, leeks, radishes, beans, peas, onions and lettuce, and was cooked for the children to sample at lunchtimes by Chefs Ali and Nazi. The children also enjoyed picking and tasting delicious strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and redcurrants.
Edible Eco Garden 2018
Last Spring and Summer 2017 was our most successful growing season to date. We welcomed a new member of our team, from Coolings Nursery, who has worked tirelessly to oversee the running of the Edible Eco Garden, to deliver outdoor lessons to classes in the garden teaching area and to co-ordinate and supervise the growing beds. Young gardeners enjoyed al fresco lunches at the new Picnic tables in the garden and helped with the planting, weeding and watering and general garden maintenance. We also ran a well attended after-school Gardening Club and sold some of the garden produce to our Midfield families, which we reinvested in the garden.
Men in Sheds – Age Uk
We are also delighted to have Men in Sheds (Age UK) working in partnership with Midfield. Volunteers from the Men in Sheds happily take commissions from schools and offers time and labour free of charge for a wide range of projects. At Midfield for example they have agreed to making bird and bat boxes, work stations for the garden, signage and most exciting of all a Midfield Market stall. Look out for children selling our produce at the end the day!
Wheelbarrow Challenge 2018
Peter Seabrook’s (MBE) Sweet Pea Challenge, for all classes to grow the most creative display in all the Planters around the school, from seedlings he gave to Midfield last year, inspired this year’s Wheelbarrow Challenge! Each class has a brightly coloured wheelbarrow to plant up with any theme of their choosing – judging will take place in July. The children enjoyed helping design these barrow garden and competition is fierce. They may appear in different locations around the school as the Gnomes sometimes like to meddle! For more photos, see the LOtC Gallery Page.