End of term news
Well weve got to the end of term with some successes and some not so!
Our poor crops have suffered from the varying weather conditions and have been both scorched and waterlogged! Some of the successes have been the beetroot, onions, salad onions, carrots, chard, spinach, parsnips, lettuces, peas and strawberries.Unfortunately the cabbages were munched on by caterpillars so we are hoping to get better results at the end of this season as we are going to try again and protect the plants a bit better. The harvested vegetables have been a lovely addition to the school menus, both in the main kitchen and the Home Living Areas. You can certainly taste the difference between fresh and shop bought produce!
We have been working out what fruits and vegetable best suit our growing conditions to make the next round of planting even more successful so watch this space to see how things go.
We have also potted up some of the strawberry seedlings for the Day students to take home so they can continue what we have been doing here in school.
Will catch up after the holidays and let you know how things are going with the new round of planting.
From Oliver and Tracy
Summer holidays are nearly here!
Hi all, this is the last blog before the Summer holidays.
Well, we have had a varied range of salads, fruit and vegetables harvested, cooked (if necessary) and eaten.
We have sampled peas, carrots, garlic,onions,strawberries, lettuce,spinach and potatoes. They have been cooked both in the main school kitchen and in each individual Home Living Area.
We will be having a break for the summer holidays but the trugs will be taken care of by Gail who co ordinates the Food for Life timetable and planning.
When we return in September, our plans are to continue to nurture the cabbage (autumn,winter and spring) kurly kale,broccoli,onions,turnips,parsnips,swede,salad onions,leeks and cauliflowers.
we are also continuing to grow aubergines, melons,chard, carrots beetroot, lettuce, peppers and sprouts.
Unfortunately 13 of the 15 raspberry plants were victims of the weather as were a lot of the strawberries but the blueberries,blackcurrents and goosberrys are all waiting for the sun to bring them along!
Our final job before we break up will be to harvest the remaining potatoes and carrots and transplant the artichokes (which have grown to an enormous size) into seperate growing areas.
Hope everyone has a lovely (sunny!) summer.
Alex, Gail & Tracy
Valence progress update
Well its now sunny June and since we last wrote in January a lot has happened and we have been kept really busy......planting, labelling, watering, weeding, feeding (chicken poo eugh!!) harvesting and best of all - eating!
We have now adopted the cutest lamb (as mentioned in our previous blog) whose name is Star. We will be watching her progress and growth with interest and hopefully have more visits to see her. we have also visited a working Dairy farm which was very interesting indeed.
We now have 30 trugs containing a selection of salads - lettuce, beetroot,radish, spring onion and Chard to name a few. Also vegetables including - peas, carrots,broccolli,spinach,kale,parsnips,swede, aubergines,onions, leeks (the list goes on!) We have herbs planted too and strawberries!
Our potatoes are almost ready to be harvested too.
Our 3 raised gardens contain fruits and autumn vegetables.
The produce we have planted has grown really well due to the differing temperatures and rainfall and have only had a few casualties.
At least once a week the harvested produce have been used in the main school kitchen in the dinners and salads and we have been very happy with the results.
Will update with further news soon,
from , Charlie and Alex
We have been very busy in our Food for Life group.
we now have our composting bins up and running and they are very useful to us. Each Bungalow has their own compost bin and are remembering to put in their used tea bags, fruit peel and vegetable peelings.
We now have our new trugs which will keep us very busy in the Spring with our planting with loads more vegetables including carrots and peppers.
We also now have herbs planted which are starting to grow in the kitchens.
We have already had some of our home grown spinach in a curry which was lovely and we are hoping to find new and creative ways to try some of our other vegetables.
We are also planning to visit a farm and will be adopting a lamb and following its progress.
One of our classes is also going to visit a dairy farm to see how our milk is produced.
Some of the older students are preparing to do an assembly to make the students more aware of Food For Life and what it means to us. Hopefully this will encourage all the students to become involved with the process of preparing, growing, harvesting and cooking our produce.
We have lots of work to do now and in the Spring and we hope that it will be rewarding when we finally get to eat our produce.
Will update you when we have finished our next round of planting!
Laurie, Connor and Abbas
What Valence Students have been doing
Valence School is a Residential School for children from 4 -19 with disabilities. There are 74 student here at the moment but not all of us board.
We started a campaign for Food For Life and have been starting to grow our own vegetables and fruit. We have made posters to advertise our group which meet every Monday and Tuesday after school.
We have trugs outside our bungalows with Curly Kale, Cabbage, Onions , Garlic, peas, carrots, leeks,potatoes, cauliflower, broccolli and spinach.
We also have fruit trees and bushes too.
We have all helped prepare, plant, weed and water all our food - sometimes it is tricky working round the local wildlife who think all the food and fruit is for them! We have tried to protect the trees and bushes so we will see how that works.We have also fed our food with chicken fertiliser which was REALLY stinky - we had to wear gloves to stop our hands smelling!!
We have also chosen recipes using the vegetables we have planted and made meals with them. some of us made curry and some made soup. The meals were delicious!
Next term we will be taking delivery of another 10 trugs for us to plant up and also some recycling bins and a compost heap.
We enoy growing our own vegetables and fruit because it means we can go to the shop and not waste money.
We think our own food tastes better because its fresh and not in a bag or tin and we know what has gone into it. - Hard Work!!
We hope that what we have planted so far will survive the winter (and hopefully no animals will come!). We have our fingers and toes crossed!!
Thanks for reading. We will keep you updated with more information.
From Matthew and Laurie