Since April 2017, pupils at Tree Tops Primary Academy have been working to create a vegetable garden allowing children and families to grow a variety of produce together.
The school first held workshops in sunflower and potato planting, weekend potting and weeding events and an Apple Day, planting trees and making juice in all year groups. The pupils visited local gardens and allotments to give them inspiration for what they might want from a school garden, and the community were asked to play a practical role.
From these visits, their ideas were gathered, and a bid from Greggs was successfully achieved. Different areas around the site were identified to grow fruit and vegetables. A weekly lunch club and tea-time gardening club has now resulted in the kitchen and Olive Dining, Tree Tops caterers are now cooking produce such as kale, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes and herbs all grown in the academy garden.
The pupils are really enjoying harvesting and eating their own food and have also launched a Tree Tops farm shop, making £44.50 at its first event.
Gardening has become a central part of the curriculum, and the enterprise opportunities are really worthwhile, as well as the contribution to the school community’s health and well-being. The gardeners include parents, children, the Reverend Arthur Huston, local Parkwood community employees from the Fusion organisation and Garden Organics. This year, Tree Tops gardeners hope to expand their range of produce, opening the garden to local nurseries and Academies to share what they have grown.