As restrictions around the UK begin to ease our garden work has taken off again at quite a pace. Whilst school closures have led to limited growing this season, we have been working with schools in different ways to build conversations and skills around food growing, climate change, and the environment.
Work at Drumchapel High continues as the students develop their new food growing site. Raised beds have been constructed by the team from scratch. After a slightly rocky start, students grew in confidence and the site now has 5 raised beds that will be filled in the next few weeks. Ally is incredibly proud of his creation!
The Drumchapel group have also been busy maintaining and expanding their garden space. Benches have been repainted and repaired, plants watered, sunflowers planted, and a fence constructed. An old pallet has also been turned into a new tool shed for keeping the site tidy and organised. It has been noted how many students are using the garden as a social and wellbeing space, to take some much needed time-out from the stresses of tests and assessments.
We have also recently begun a new six-week garden class with new partners Lourdes Secondary School. The school has an enormous – but very underused – garden site, and we are working in collaboration to develop the garden into an outdoor classroom, wellbeing space, and food growing site.
Working with a range of students we started to explore the garden and to generate some new ideas for the space. The group are incredibly enthusiastic and creative, coming up with a range of insights and ideas.
We have also explored together the secrets of soil, thinking carefully about what lies beneath our feet. The group were excellent worm hunters and were excited to engage with the range of non-human others in the garden. Alongside worms, spiders were of particular interest to the students and they shared their stories of living with such creatures in different ways.
Work has also begun with new partners St Mungo’s Academy. Together we are running a 6-week set of classes for S1 and S2 students relating to climate change, food security, and growing practices. The school does not (yet) have its own garden but we are finding ways to work outdoors (when the Glasgow weather allows!).
The group have planted and cared for their own pea plants and sunflowers. They have constructed bird feeders from recycled materials and placed them in the school grounds. A bug box is also under construction with help from the technical department. The group have also been busy discussing the relationships between climate change and food consumption and production. All of the students were very excited about exploring coconuts – so much so that they took one to their technical class in order to open it, just so they could see what was inside!