The Land Rover Owners Wife

The Garden Share Collective: February 2014

10 Comments

It only seems like yesterday that I was posting Januarys’ Garden Share Collective article and so it was a bit of a surprise to find Lizzie’s gentle reminder in my inbox the other day.

Obviously there isn’t a great deal to report at the moment, as here in the UK we are still in the throes of winter, with rain, freezing temperatures and gale force winds howling around the cottage as I type.

Leeks, onions and curly kale are still occupying space.

Leeks, onions and curly kale are still occupying space.

January Harvest:

Unfortunately the frosts got to the Romanescos before they reached a usable size and so they were pulled and composted. There are still leeks to be had, as well as the last of the Scarlet Curly Kale and I suspect that these will have made their way to the school kitchen pretty soon.

The Courtyard garden was desperately in need of a tidy up

The Courtyard garden was desperately in need of a tidy up

Jobs we have done:

  • The Courtyard garden was looking a bit of a mess at the start of the month but with the help of another parent,  it has now been cleared and fed. The planters are now resting ready for the next season;
  • Thanks to the same parent, the shed has also had a spring clean but desperately needs a coat of protective stain or wax, as it is looking decidedly tired right now; and
  • With the grant cheque for the Foundation Class planters received and banked, we have been able to order and have taken delivery of the planters. We also ordered a frame for each planter, along with the interchangeable greenhouse, fleece and insect covers which fit the frames. Two 5ltr tubs of water based wood stain (Protek Beaumont Blue and Protek Willow) have also been purchased and will be used to give the planters a protective coating in due course.
Still in their boxes but the planters are here

Still in their boxes but the planters are here

Things to do:

  • Well obviously the planters need painting, assembling and filling with a topsoil /compost mix;
  • The poly tunnel still needs a good sort out, taking care not to damage the very determined little cabbage growing by path; and
  • The first seeds need sowing with gardening club but this will be after the half term.
Frames and three sorts of covers were ordered for each planter

Frames and three sorts of covers were ordered for each planter

Other news:

Over the last term, years 2 to 6 have been studying World War II and as part of this have been looking at the ‘make do and mend’ aspects of life during the war years. This term, the World War II topic is continuing and as part of this they children will be making their own ‘Dig for Victory’ garden.

In keeping with many of these gardens during the war years, they will be using the waste bit of ground in front of the garage in which the potatoes were grown last season. Obviously they will need to dig up any left over potatoes first and will need to measure the space to work out how best to fill it.

The rogue cabbage is still going strong

The rogue cabbage is still going strong

It should be quite interesting to see how they get on because the Gardening Club will be growing the same seeds in the main vegetable patch BUT our crops will have the benefit of modern insect mesh to keep off the pigeons and other pest which, with all materials at a premium during WWII, will not be available for the Victory garden.

Research will need to be done to identifying traditional methods used back then  and a general plea to the wider community for help and advice has been issued. Overall, the Victory garden will hopefully give the children a real insight into how difficult it was to grow additional food for your family during this time and I will keep you posted as to how it is developing, through both the Garden Share Collective posts and my own posts in the coming months.

So that’s the update on the school garden and I hope you pop back at the end of the month to see what we have achieved during February and what our plans for March are. As for right now, why not nip over to Lizzies blog where you will find updates from the other gardens in the collective.

10 thoughts on “The Garden Share Collective: February 2014

  1. How inspired to make a Dig For Victory garden. There’s no better way of learning than actually doing. Those kids are very lucky to have you to help organise it all.

  2. Sounds like great preparation work for all the planting ahead and a school Dig for Victory garden sounds fab. I do love the sound of scarlet curly kale too. A strange question, but the children at your school don’t keep chickens do they? I’m trying to find schools where the children learn about hen-keeping!

    • Unfortunately no they don’t. We simply don’t have the space. Mind you at the schools’ 140 year celebration day in 2012, I was amazed to learn that where the poly tunnel now sits used to be the school pig sty – can’t see H&SD allowing pigs in schools these days 🙂

  3. I love it – Dig for Victory. What a great concept for the young ones, it will definitely be interesting to see what they plant and how it grows. Looks like you have plenty of new toys to play with too in the garden.

    • Hi Lizzie,

      Yes the school is blessed with innovative and enthusiastic teachers and support staff, who come up with great ideas to enhance the curriculum. As for the new toys, can’t wait to get them up an running 🙂

  4. Don’t the months fly by so quickly! Shame about the romanescu, try again next year. Love the idea of the victory garden, what a brilliant learning experience for the children.

  5. Hi Alex,

    Oh we’ll definitely try the romanescos again this season 🙂

  6. So glad to have found this! I’ve started to help out with the (rather unloved!) little veg patch at my daughter’s school. They are keen to get things going (and growing), I will be back for ideas!

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