St Mary's delicious food garden

“The ultimate goal of planting a vegetable garden is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” [Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution, adapted].

The Form IIs embarked on an exciting project during the past week, when they successfully planted St Mary’s first delicious food garden. The aim of this project is to develop an awareness and appreciation of food and its origins. Increasingly, we feel it important and relevant to expose the girls to the principles of sustainable urban living, since these concepts are essential in the creation of sustainable urban systems, for which we are all responsible.

Many of the subject disciplines will be utilising the garden and elements of the garden as teaching resources during the first term. It is intended that the girls will use their garden produce as a part of their course on nutrition and food preservation in their Technology lessons, to create tasty pickles, pesto and other delicious treats.

In order to prepare for the planting of the garden, girls have participated in a series of interactive workshops and planning sessions. Claire Reid, of Reel Gardening, launched our project with an inspiring presentation of her personal journey as young female entrepreneurscientist who has successfully established her company. Reel Gardening manufactures a biodegradable colour-coded paper strip that encloses correctly spaced organic fertiliser and seeds, preventing birds from eating the seeds and keeping the seeds hydrated.

The girls have used some of these seed strips in their own planting beds, together with seedling plants. A visit to the Siyakhana Community Garden on Friday 20 January was arranged to assist our young gardeners in understanding a little more about planting, weeding, mulching and watering, to list but a few of the necessary skills required. Ms Harrison ran a workshop on garden landscaping, assisting girls with the notion of companion planting and maximising small spaces.Girls will be documenting their progress and observations in the garden through the creation of personalised blogs. Pupils will be using the Seesaw app for this purpose. Please encourage your daughters to share their blog updates with you, so that parents can also be a part of the project.

A big thank-you is extended to the St Mary’s gardening staff, for assisting the girls in preparation of the final planting bed. I hope you will visit our garden and feel inspired to start a planting revolution in your own back gardens!

Sally James

Deputy Headmistress