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 cope  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

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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



Week 31: Carrot Gloom
May 6, 2009, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Planting
Where are they?

Where are they?

We have been keeping an eye on that carrot bed. While everything else in the garden got going – there was no real sign of life in bed number 1 – apart from plenty of weeds. We decided to see what was what and gave it a careful weed. That revealed a grand total of 3 carrots! It was clear action was needed so we replanted the bed to try and see if was the location (it is slightly shadier than the other beds) or the seeds. Fingers crossed this time.

Elsewhere, watering was the order of the day – runner beans, cucumbers, lettuce and herb pots all doing well in the greenhouse but very thirsty – as were the outdoor beds because of the lack of rain. With our water butts squeezed of their last drops – we had to default to tap water today.

Then that was pretty much it as I was on my own this week. Everyone else had other commitments but it really does show how invaluable all the volunteers are to the club. For anyone thinking of starting their own gardening club, I would say that getting other people on board is one of the most important things to do at the start as our club really couldn’t run without the help of the parents and volunteers.

 A proper drenching

A proper drenching



Week 30: Plenty to do
April 24, 2009, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Composting, Planting
Plenty for everyone to do

Plenty for everyone to do

It is always the case – weeks of not much to do over winter then all of a sudden – too much!

A gorgeous day and a real delight to be outside. First and urgent job today was watering. The greenhouse is like a sauna at the moment so everything in there needs doing regularly but the outside beds needed a lot today too.

We have onions, broad beans, peas, tomatoes, potatoes, runner beans, cucumbers and lettuces all doing really well at the moment. Our carrots have been a bit of a non starter this year for some reason so we may have to re-think where they are.

Anyway, onto today. Imogen and her group cleared a bed for our Chard – Bright Lights, inspired by the beautiful ones growing on the Observer allotment. Amanda’s group took charge of the pumpkins – two different varieties: Hundredweight and Atlantic Giant and my group got the courgettes in – F1 Defender.

The weeds seemed to have shot up over the Easter holidays too so plenty of work there. Our wormeries needed a clean out too so member from Eco committee took all the lovely compost out which we used in the beds we planted today.

Eco committee cleaning out the wormeries

Eco committee cleaning out the wormeries



Week 28: Radish, Lettuce, Peppers and Onions
March 27, 2009, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Planting
Allan with the lettuce group - did you read the packet?!

Allan with the lettuce group - did you read the packet?!

The rain stayed away today despite my worry that we could have to cancel and we were really pleased to have Allan come and visit from the Observer.

A quick check on how everything was doing (peas planted straight out 3 weeks ago doing really well – the broom handle certainly did the job of getting them planted in straight lines!) before getting going with the jobs for today.

Ann took charge of the peppers, we decided to try a colourful selection – Razmatazz. They went on the window sill with the others and the tomatoes.

Allan headed up the lettuce group who planted two varieties and they went into the greenhouse.

Then my group took charge of the radish and salad onions – straight out into the salad bed to join the beetroot.

With everything watered, the hour was up. One more week before the Easter holidays means that next week will be a planting frenzy. All hands needed on deck!

Finishing the salad bed

Finishing the salad bed



Week 26: Busy Busy!
March 16, 2009, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Planting
With Arthur from Acorn House

With Arthur from Acorn House

We welcomed two visitors to gardening club today. Arthur Potts Dawson, executive chef at Acorn House Restaurant in Kings Cross http://www.acornhouserestaurant.com/home/index.html and Monica Gomes from Camden Education Business Partnerships.  We took a group of children to visit Arthur earlier on in the year and we were really impressed by his garden and invited him to come and see ours!

After a quick tour, it was down to work and there was loads to do! Vince and Amanda took charge of planting our potatoes that had been chitting for the last few weeks. 15 buckets filled should mean there is plenty for everyone!

Ann got busy with some children to get our cucumbers planted. With the weather warming up, now is an ideal time to get them into the greenhouse.

Speaking of which, Fateha and Carriann got their cleaning heads on and gave the greenhouse a good old tidy out. We will need every available cm in the next few weeks!

Our free Morrisons compost arrived (from the voucher scheme) and Arthur helped the children unpack all the bags and recycle the cardboard packaging.

Phew! Just enough time to give Arthur some potatoes to grow in his own garden and a promise to visit him soon.

A very busy and productive hour!

Everyone busy!

Everyone busy!