A Cambridgeshire primary school's gardening club is hoping to lay on special 'home-grown' lunches and a strawberry picnic for parents this summer using produce grown from seeds and plants donated by seed company Mr Fothergill's - and the firm's trial ground manager Brian Talman recently visited Fordham C of E Primary School to help youngsters set some fast-cropping strawberries for the event.
The school's Sprouts Club has more than 50 members, aged between four and 11, who meet regularly after school to tend their plants, supported by both by staff and by parents. Club organiser Sue Ling said "The children love working outside, whatever the weather, and being involved in the processes of digging, planting, watering and weeding whilst investigating nature in the garden. Gardening is hugely educational and teaches the children a myriad of social, physical and academic lessons across a wide subject spectrum - whilst having an enormous amount of fun! The beauty of gardening is that every child can succeed, no matter what their academic ability; this in turn raises self-esteem and results in happy and enthusiastic children with a knowledge and passion for gardening and healthy eating".
Earlier in the year Mr Fothergill's supplied seed potatoes, onion sets, a wide range of vegetable seeds, plus sweet pea seeds, as the children expressed an interest in entering the schools' and youngsters' sections of Mr Fothergill's forthcoming sweet pea competition to be held at Capel Manor College on Saturday, 5 July where large cash and voucher prizes are on offer for the best bunches of naturally grown sweet pea blooms.
Brian Talman, whose entire working life has been spent in horticulture, helped members of the Sprouts Club plant Mr Fothergill's "Berry Quick" strawberries, which are capable of producing fruit ready for picking just 30 days after planting. "It's great to see so many youngsters eager to grow and tend plants, encouraged by teachers and parents", commented Brian.