Braving the elements in preparation for spring planting

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While the majority of students have been retreating to warmer indoor places during the cold, dark and wet autumn and winter months, the hardy members of allotment club have been braving the elements down at the Dowdales Plot.

The club members have put in a lot of hard work and risen to the challenge of preparing the ground for planting in the spring and now the lighter nights are on their way it is all systems go.

The plot has been dug over, a new shed has arrived, the poly-tunnel is waiting to be assembled, the compost is rotting nicely, thanks to Mrs Campbell and the Kitchen Staff, and the water butts are in place.

Our next task is to dig trenches to plant the potatoes in. We are going to experiment a bit to see whether they prefer to grow with manure or seaweed. The seed potatoes are sat in the shed getting ready to sprout. Once the potatoes are in the ground things will gather pace and the rest of the planned vegetables and flowers will follow on.

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Since Christmas, members of our Eco-Group have been collecting used plastic bottles, which would otherwise have been thrown away, from around school. On Thursday lunchtimes the group have met in Mr Chapman’s classroom where they have cleaned and prepared the bottles ready to make an eco-friendly cold frame.  The cold frame will be used to protect the young plants in the school allotment from any late frosts and help to extend the growing season of some crops. The best thing is that it has been built from recycled and sustainable materials.

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At the allotment we are aiming to recycle and re-use as many things as we can to create an environmentally friendly garden. We have old pieces of carpet to control the weeds, the frame of an old stool which we will use to support the peas as they grow, well used plant pots and drawers rescued from a skip being used in the shed.

All the students who take part in both the allotment club and eco group maintain a keen interest and without their tireless effort and enthusiasm for all things green we would definitely not have accomplished as much as we have.

We are hopeful that as many people as possible will have the chance to share in the produce from the allotment in one form or another.  We will keep you updated when things are ready. 

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