Little Green Fingers……….Gospel Oak school’s gardening club


Week 41. The end!
July 15, 2009, 10:01 am
Filed under: Planting
collecting our prize from the Mayor

collecting our prize from the Mayor

As the school year comes to an end, our last session was all about finishing off. We brought our tomatoes out of the greenhouse to try and survive the summer outside. Very healthy looking pepper plants were given to the children to take home and onions and potatoes were shared out amongst everyone too.

The beds are full of pumpkins, runner beans, carrots and cauliflower – all having to copeĀ  with 4 weeks outside so fingers crossed that there is a bit of rain.

Then, a lovely end to the club. On Monday we were invited to Camden Town Hall for the annual Camden in Bloom competition as we had won a prize. We didn’t know what it was or in what category so I sat with 3 gardening club members, quite nervously to see. We were delighted to win ‘Best Variety and Quality in Food Growing’ and we were presented with a trophy and certificate from the mayor of Camden. A great way to finish.

However, the final word must be for Anne – her son leaves school this year and so her involvement comes to an end. As one of the original three – I just want to thank her here for her hard work and dedication to the club. Without her, we certainly wouldn’t be doing what we are doing now.

See you next year!

some of the proud winners

some of the proud winners



Week 39: Last allotment visit
July 10, 2009, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Allotment | Tags:
Pumpkin envy!

Pumpkin envy!

A Wednesday visit to the allotment for us this time. All of a sudden the end of term is fast approaching and we wanted to squeeze in one last visit for the club this year.

During our talk about the rules up at the allotment, I asked the children to make sure they asked lots of questions (they sometimes have a tendency to be a bit quiet.) Poor Allan! He was bombarded from the second we got up there! Even if most of them were about why there were various objects on sticks all over the site!

We went over to the Observer site and the children were delighted to see the resident fox put in an appearance. Then, time for a close inspection. I was really pleased that they could identify so much. We were all very impressed by how much they have in such a small space.

After our last visit, the children were all ready for another round of nasturtium eating! We tried the peas too – I have to admit – plumper than ours!

Then of course – despite the glorious sunshine of earlier, the rain started. Have we ever managed a visit where it didn’t?

All too soon, time to head back to school. Howard and Allan said bye to the gardening club of this year but we will be up there again in September with our new crop!

Peas all round

Peas all round



Week 38: Fruit picking
July 6, 2009, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Various
In the strawberry fields

In the strawberry fields

Apologies for the blogging gap. As with any school at this time of year, things get so frantic it can be difficult to find the time to get anything done!

Although there was no club last week, we did manage to do a fruit and vegetable related activity! We took the children fruit picking, to Hewitts Farm in Orpington in Kent. http://www.hewittsfarm.co.uk/

We went with the intention of picking strawberries for our annual International Evening, as well as some other bits and pieces.

When we got there, we found that the strawberries we a bit thin on the ground (due to the lack of rain) but the raspberries were plentiful!

It was such a beautiful day that we really enjoyed being outside. By the end of our time, we had a haul of strawberries, raspberries, beetroot, spinach and blackcurrants.

As well as things for the school – the children all collected for themselves. We were amazed at how cheap everything was.

The next day, everyone agreed that the things they had made (mainly smoothies) tasted much better for it being fresh and hand picked.

With our beetroot haul

With our beetroot haul



Week 36: Cooking with peas
June 15, 2009, 9:00 am
Filed under: Cooking | Tags:
Picked peas

Picked peas

Our peas were ready (we had a sneaky taste the week before) and we decided to cook with them. Sometimes children take the vegetables home, sometimes we give them away but it is nice to be able to try out recipes with them.

It wasn’t easy thinking of something child friendly to cook with peas but a quick google led me here http://www.peas.org/recipes-pea,-ham-and-cheese-muffins.html.

I thought they sounded quite nice but Victoria (Our fantastic TA that leads our cooking club) looked a bit dubious!

Anyway, we pressed ahead, the children picked all the peas and enjoyed eating as many as they put in the bowl! Recipe duly followed and the muffins came out of the oven. Pretty good was the general consensus! Even a couple of teachers who tried them gave them the thumbs up!

What was really nice however was seeing the enthusiasm in which the children wanted to try the peas. Of the 12 children, 10 genuinely enjoyed them – 2 tried but really didn’t like them. Encouraging them to try – and enjoy the things that they have grown is the one of the most important things about the club.

Making muffins

Making muffins



Week 35: Full of beans!
June 8, 2009, 8:17 am
Filed under: Various | Tags: ,
broad beans

broad beans

Bean were the order of the day today. Our first batch of broad beans were ready and duly sent up to our Head teacher’s office (his favourite vegetable!)

Then we had our runner beans to plant out from the greenhouse. The children enjoyed creating the wigwams for them to climb up.

Our peas were looking good too – we couldn’t resist picking a few pods and eating them! The children were amazed at how good they tasted – even the ‘I don’t like peas’ children enjoyed them!

Other jobs included planting out the last of our tomatoes, replanting a few pumpkins and of course, weeding and watering.

Cooking with peas for next week’s session – any suggestions!?

runner beans

runner beans



Week 34: Garden envy
May 22, 2009, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Planting
Raised be at the Out of Town Centre

Raised beds at the Out of Town Centre

Apologies for the lack of post last week. I was in the New Forest with our year 5 children staying on a farm for the week. They have an amazing garden and the children were expected to help out in it. I did have serious garden envy but they do have full time gardeners and lots of volunteers.

Thanks to Imogen and Amanda who got our new fruit trees planted at the front of the school – pear and plum.

We had a visitor with us again this week, Lucy – a parent governor from Brookfield – a local school. She was keen to get ideas about how we work as she runs a club with her Nursery and Reception children. We both agreed that parent volunteers are the way forward!

Today’s jobs included watering (pumpkins have appeared – hooray!) weeding, wheelbarrow driving lessons (!) to move our compost as well as re-potting the Year 1 tomatoes to go outside.

A walk round with the children showed that the second batch of carrots seem to be doing well, the chard are on the up, broad beans are soon to be ready although we have got blackfly AGAIN (any tips for avoiding it?) and a quick peek in a pea pod showed the cutest little peas growing!

We even had time for a bit of maths – 3/15 courgettes germinated so we discussed whether this was a good ratio!

Teeny Tiny Peas!

Teeny Tiny Peas!



Week 32: Moving on…
May 8, 2009, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Planting
Tomatoes from inside to out

Tomatoes from inside to out

I have to say – we do seem to be very organised this year as we don’t have a huge amount to do at the moment – usually this time of year is really busy. I am putting it down to getting everything in so early in time for the summer holidays. Several visitors to the school over the last week (both of whom have allotments) have commented on how well our tomatoes and potatoes are doing.

Anyway, on to today. Time to move the tallest tomatoes (which were starting to droop) into the greenhouse. Most of our Gardeners Delight went in along with some of the Golden Sunrise. The rest can stay on the window sill for a couple more weeks.

Vince joined us today and planted out the lettuces that Allan planted a few weeks back. They are doing really well and went into the salad bed.

I am a bit worried that there is nothing from our pumpkins yet – there is always some disaster that befalls them (last year being picked off by curious young children!) so I have my fingers firmly crossed that this will be our year!

Lettuce out too

Lettuce out too




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