Little Growers is lucky enough to be working in partnership with Nemasys for the forthcoming growing season, they are supplying Little Growers schools with their great products free of charge. Nemasys are naturally occurring microscopic worms found in the soil, that control pests. The nematodes are watered into the soil and control your pest problems whether slugs, caterpillars or weevils etc. They are one hundred percent organic and naturally found in gardens. They will control your pest problems entirely, using a completely natural, safe and sustainable method. They are perfect for use in schools because unlike pesticides and chemicals which are not safe, they offer a completely child friendly and organic pest control solution. For more information please visit their website, this has lots of information about the various products they offer. Little Growers will be posting photos and updates on how our schools are getting along with these products on our Online Community.
Once again Tozer Seeds have donated a great array of seeds to the Little Growers schools for spring and summer seasons. We received all types of seeds from beetroot and sweetcorn to oriental salad mixes and a huge sack of runner beans. Tozers have been extremely generous and send us thousands of seeds when we request them, so Little Growers would like to say a HUGE thank you to David, Rebecca and everyone at Tozers for their continued support. Tozers will also be trialling the AutoPot watering systems this summer to see for themselves how easy they are to use and the great results you get when using the gravity fed systems. Watch this space for updates on how the schools get along with their seeds on our Online Community.
Like Tozers, Unwins have been supporting Little Growers school projects for some time now. They have donated their Little Growers seeds range to our school projects for two years now and the varieties they supply are child friendly, hardy and produce great crops. We would like to say a big thank you to Nicola and the team at Unwins for their consistent and generous donations to Little Growers, without donations like this the Little Growers raised beds and polytunnels would look very sparse indeed! Find out more about Unwins’ tailored made seeds range especially for children here.
Here at Little Growers we have been watching increasingly frequent news stories and updates on the status of hosepipe bans and water shortages throughout the country. Our school projects are concerned about the sustainability of their growing areas over the summer months if the drought continues. Having done our own research it is extremely worthwhile phoning up your local water board and finding out what the status of the water limitations are for your school. The policies vary depending on the water board and schools do have a different set of rules applied to them than normal household guidelines. If schools require water for a gardening project that is part of the curriculum we have found that some water companies will allow you to fill up your waterbutts to sustain the project. They also promote the use of grey water on your raised beds and polytunnels and downpipes to your water butts to collect any rain that we have. These guidelines are by no means definitive and please do check with the Water company specific to your area as the rules to vary.
Our school gardening projects are all beginning to come alive after a long winter, there are seeds poking up through the soil, windowsills filled with propagation trays and raised beds being planned out with what will be sown where. At this time of year there is a range of crops that can be sown inside and outdoors. Spring onions, mange tout, dwarf French beans and sprouting broccoli can be sown outside. Whereas herbs, salads, courgettes, tomatoes and beetroots can be started inside. Don’t forget to water the soil well when planting and sowing seeds so that they get the best start!
For salads, rocket and herbs such as basil and coriander when summer is well underway these can be sown every few weeks to ensure you have a continual supply throughout the summer. However we do recommend the Unwins Little Growers ‘cut and come again’ salad seed variety, last year this was superb, we would cut the salad crop every few weeks and it just kept regrowing time and time again. Always follow the instructions on the back of each seed packets for exact guidelines on when to sow and how to sow.
There are several great resources for growing in schools on the web so do take a look if you need some guidance or feel like you could do with some inspiration. Growing Schools is a great website with information on resources, training, events and much more. Sustain, is another great organisation which works on a range of projects, including school gardening, they have commissioned a report on the great benefits and impact of growing in schools which is well worth a read, click here to download the report.
• 1 cup of yogurt of a flavour of your choice, we like vanilla! • 1 banana • 3 cups fresh or frozen summer fruits, raspberries are lovely • A drizzle of honey • Craft sticks
1. Process yogurt and banana in a blender 30 seconds or until smooth. Bring raspberries and honey to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, using back of spoon to squeeze out juice and pulp. Discard skins and seeds. Cover and chill raspberry mixture 30 minutes. Pour yogurt mixture evenly into 10 (2-oz.) ice lolly moulds. Top with raspberry mixture, and swirl, if desired. Top with lid of lolly mould, and insert craft sticks, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches sticking out of pop. Freeze 6 hours or until sticks are solidly anchored and pops are completely frozen.
2. Tip: For a different taste, substitute 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or halved strawberries.
Southwestern Black Bean Salad (originally found here)
This salad is great for numerous reasons: the ingredients are incredibly cheap, it's healthy and easy to make. It can be teamed up with pita bread; the longer you leave it marinating the more flavourful it becomes so it's improved by a night in the fridge. It also tastes good with chopped orange bell pepper or quinoa.
• 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained • 9 oz frozen (or canned) corn, thawed • 1 tomato, chopped • 1 avocado, chopped • 1/4 cup red or white onion, diced • 1 spring onion, chopped • 1 lime, juice of • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped • salt and fresh ground pepper • Mexican chilli powder, a few pinches
Combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, spring onion, coriander, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Mix with lime juice and olive oil. Marinate in the fridge 30 minutes. Add avocado before serving.
Little Growers is a "not for profit" organisation. Any donations received towards the Little Growers Fund are used to supply additional schools around the UK with growing equipment. All purchases made via the AutoPot Online Shop will automatically have 10% of the total cost donated to the fund!