Crawley Ridge Junior School - the story so far...

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Crawley Ridge Junior School

Over the last 7 years, Crawley Ridge Junior School has been developing an Environmental or Nature Club. The club has been gradually carrying out a range of environmental activities including growing flowering plants for the class tubs and for the tubs and raised beds in the Quiet Area on the Terrace. We have been planting trees and bulbs in the grounds as well as developing natural meadow areas full of wildflowers. We have even started breeding our own Painted Lady butterflies over the last 2 years, to release in the grounds.

In 2006-7, we were very lucky to become involved with Little Growers. Thanks to the generosity of Mr Ralph-Smith we obtained two poly tunnels and several raised beds. Since then we have used these to grow our own seeds as well as having some plants from Little Growers. We have tried tomatoes, potatoes, peas, beans, lettuces, onions, pumpkins, chillis, courgettes, Swiss chard, broccoli, sweetcorn, aubergines, cucumbers, strawberries and even a loofah! - so far.

After much hard work, we have started to harvest some of our crops and have even tried cooking them in the school kitchens for lunch. So far we have eaten some broccoli, peas, lettuce, potatoes and strawberries.

We have had our fair share of problems but we are determined to grow our crops in an environmentally-friendly way. The birds are always keen to share if we are not careful and the slugs often set us back by eating some of our early plantings of beans and sweetcorn. In the past, we did share our broccoli and the six cabbage white caterpillars we rescued turned into chrysalis' and then into butterflies.

Now in 2010, we have just obtained replacement poly tunnel covers and have some new raised beds bought with Tesco vouchers. Excited by the huge success of our Get Growing Day in October this year, we are looking forward to continuing to grow healthy foods at our school and have lots of plans for our tunnels and beds next year, not to mention other areas of the grounds. Watch this space!

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