Grow to Learn 

Week One

A group of children from Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 have been selected to take part in this year`s Grow To Learn Project.

We walked to the allotment and immediately began to plant seeds, and build a raised bed for peas and beans to grow in. We were lucky with the weather and met some other local people who also have an allotment!

Week Two

Our pea and bean seeds have grown amazingly well since we planted them. We used gardening canes and string to build a structure they can climb up. We did cover the delicate plants with a special fleece as the weather forecast suggests it is going to get very cold. We don`t want our plants to be killed by a frost! We also planted potatoes today and are planning a competition to guess how many potatoes we will get from each bag.

Week Three

It was a good job our delicate plants were covered up as we walked to the allotment in a snow storm this afternoon!!! It wasn’t long before the sun came out and an hour of really heavy digging soon warmed everybody up! We cleared part of the allotment ready for planting. We collected bark to create paths and planted strawberry plants in pots.

Week Four

This week we had the most tremendous rain to contend with. Mrs Smart and Mrs Frere even gave us the chance to have the afternoon off but we said no!!!

We still did many jobs despite the awful weather. We earthed up the potatoes, planted baby beetroot, planted carrot, radish and lettuce seeds as well as building a second raised bed. We also collected even more bark to define the path areas.

Week Five

We enjoyed lovely warm sunshine this week; however that meant the job of watering our seeds and young plants was very important. As we are not sure if it would rain during the half term holidays, we gave all our plants an extra soaking.

We planted the healthiest cucumber plants today. We looked for strong stems and big green leaves but rejected thin plants with yellow leaves and poor roots. The seeds we planted a while ago have now begun to grow.

Our final task this week was to put sticks around our precious plants to protect them from unwanted visitors – namely cats and foxes.

As it was such a nice day there were many other people on their allotments today so it gave us a chance to say hello and make some new friends!

Week Six

Today we got to eat some of the produce we had grown!! We picked lettuce and radishes and made salad wraps. They were delicious! There was loads of lettuce so we brought lots back to school and will use it on the Salad Cart at lunchtime tomorrow so more children can have the chance to sample the freshest lettuce ever!

We also picked peas and beans and these will be frozen by Mrs Smart and be saved until our cooking day in September.

The allotment holder next door has gone away on holiday and asked us to pick his ripe strawberries. We didn`t need asking twice! We picked (and ate) plenty and Mrs Frere is going to make strawberry jam to go with scones we will make again on cooking day in September. We also saw Liam`s family allotment for the first time. He showed us around it and shared their plans for growing lots of vegetables.

Week Seven

This week we harvested our new potatoes. What excitement!! It was like a treasure hunt at times!! We were concerned the potatoes may have been damaged by bugs but they were perfect. We even collected the tiny ones as they will all go towards the dishes we will make on Tea Party Day in September.

As well as potatoes we picked peas, broad beans and dug up the shallots and onions. Our cucumbers, pumpkins; beetroot and carrots are all making good progress and fingers crossed will be ready for us to harvest in September.

Final Grow To Learn Session

Our busy day started with a trip to the allotment where we harvested our produce including beans, peas, beetroot, kale, lettuce and carrots.

Back at school the hard work began! We made frittata, beetroot and lemon cake, shallot tarts, potato salad, coleslaw, scones with jam made from our very own strawberries!

At the end of the afternoon our parents and school staff came and enjoyed a Tea Party. The feedback was very positive from everybody.

Some children are now growing their own fruit and vegetables at home. Liam and his family are enjoying tending their very own allotment and everybody said they now eat more fruit and vegetables after their experience with Grow to Learn.

Two pumpkins we grew are going to take pride of place at our Harvest Festival Assembly later in the term!

We can`t wait to do it all again next Spring with a new group of children.