Community gardeners go back to school
Established in 2008, in response to local demand, Cropwell Bishop’s gardening club brings people together and aims to improve the village by installing plants and flowers throughout the public green spaces. After receiving a request for help from a local school, several of the club’s 50 members have also found time to set up and run a very successful school gardening club.
The after-school group meets once a week to grow fruit and vegetables with the children. After three years it is now so popular that teacher Lucy Brodie has started a five-week rota, to allow everyone to get their hands dirty. She says, “The children get a massive sense of achievement from the garden. They enjoy watching and nurturing the plants and the gardening club provides a welcome addition to the school day.”
The children compost the school’s kitchen waste and in return their fruit and vegetables are provided for the annual Harvest Festival, as well being taken home by the young gardeners.
Co-founder of Cropwell Bishop School Gardening Club, Judy Thomas, says, “I just love the enthusiasm of the children: they literally run into the garden each Tuesday and can't wait to get going. They are not fussy or precious about getting muddy or wet and are gentle with any living creatures in the garden. It's great that we have a generation of children who know how their food is grown and how to grow it.”
Pupil Lucy McLean, aged 10, agrees, “I like the gardening club because I like watching things grow and I like eating fruit and vegetables...raw!”