Offering and eating fruit and vegetables

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I think there is a lot that can be done simply by offering kids fresh fruit and veg repeatedly. I find most will try if there is at least one known winner on the table. In general; strawberries, raspberries or blueberries are a huge favourite

The hidden harvest

Potatoes and Tiddlers

One of my favourite times of the week is working with the tiddlies at a nursery school. They are so open and accepting of what we do in the garden and gloriously thrilled by flowers to see and things to smell. We always plant potatoes, with limited success. Most times we do a potato session the children  focus very hard on what the eyes are and making sure they get covered up to sleep.

After the first year of no harvest, when the children dug the potatoes up almost weekly and sometimes daily to check on them I learnt a valuable lesson about working with this age group. After they’ve gone indoors muddy and happy I dig most of the chitted potatoes up again and hide them somewhere else in the garden. It’s so important to have tiddlies get used to putting their hands in the dirt but equally important to hide anything you actually want to grow.

A potato

A potato on some soil


Summary of contents of clubs and classes

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In both club and class we aim to include the following:

  • We grow vegetables
  • We eat vegetables
  • We grow fruit
  • We eat fruit
  • We sow seeds and examine seeds
  • We create our own plant parts diagram or picture
  • We thin and transplant seedlings and look at the plant lifecycle
  • We make paper pots and recycle
  • We brighten up our space with garden craft
  • We water and weed and compost and generally look after the outdoor space
  • We talk individually about our own dream garden and favourite plants
  • Each week we try a different fruit or vegetable and discuss whether we like it or not
  • When it rains we find a space inside and write and draw in our garden journals
  • We do puzzles, wordsearchs, bingo and games based around what we have been learning so far to help clarify our knowledge
  • We talk individually about our own dream garden and favourite plants and we create a plan for changing the space we have at school into a dream garden
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Librarian influence

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Just loving that upon being asked to tidy the books, my eldest created placeholders and alphabetised her fiction by authors surname, then firstname. Can’t wait to see if she uses dewey decimal for the non fiction

She said what?

Child in temper makes unsurprisingly little sense or logic …

Small person enters my room in a very worked up angry state.

“Its just not fair” is the cry. It’s 5.30am by the clock and I can’t do much more than lift my head briefly off the pillow and grunt

“there’s two things and it’s just not fair” .

The wail increases in decibels and my pained sigh in response is unfortunately taken as an affirmation to continue.

“It’s just… it’s just…the first thing is that she’s bigger than me….”

A dramatic pause (possibly for effect, she’s quite theatrical already)

“And the other thing is…”. Another pause but this time a sob escapes as well.

“And I’m smaller than her”…

At this point it is fair to say that my laughter under the duvet is not taken positively.


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Love the idea of using old mosaic tile patterns as a basis for patchwork and applique

simple engineering

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This is one of the glass lean-to’s at Tyntesfield, housing peaches. A long handle turns gently and various panes move to open as a vent. I was lucky enough to step inside and get a closer look at a remarkable but simple piece of engineering that requires minimum effort but produces quite an impact.

PlayGroundology emerging social science


by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'