What is Country Trust?
Over the last few years, key stage 2 have been working with Sally from a charity called the Country Trust who have helped us learn all about growing, cooking and even selling food. Sally has helped us to create a vegetable patch in our school grounds and helped years 3,4,5 and 6 learn how to grow crops, use them as an ingredient in cooking and also sell them in a playground market to learn all about profit and loss. Sally has also helped to organise lots of farm trips that showed us how these aspects are used in real life.
Week 1 - Weeding
To start with, we needed to weed our vegetable patches so we could see what crops we had. Sally very kindly came and spent some time helping us to do this. Here are some before and after pictures of our hard work. Have you been helping tidy up your garden at home? If you have, remember to send some pictures of your weeding work to your teacher so we can share your work on this page.
Week 2 - Harvesting
Once our vegetable patch was weeded and we rediscovered our crops, it was time to harvest them. We worked as a small team and used the correct tools such as a fork and a shovel to help us harvest. Can you identify some of the crops we harvested?
Week 3 - Sowing
Now that our vegetable patch has been harvested, it has given us some free space to sow some new crops. We used our knowledge from our lessons with Sally about how to use our fingers to create a trench (or a drill as it is called) for the seeds to go into. We made sure to spread the seeds evenly (in hope lots of them will germinate) and then gently covered them over with dirt and carefully watering each row. Have you been growing any fruits, vegetables or flowers at home? Remember to send your teacher any pictures if you have.
Week 4 - Growing
This week, we've been making sure that the seeds we sowed are well watered (not too much though) and have used the time to also sow a new crop of potatoes by following Sally's latest video diary. We decided to also plant some marigold and dahlia seeds in pots so we can look at the difference between how flowers and vegetables grow. After that, we used the time to weed the beds and freshen up the dirt around the broad beans and onions - we are using our school compost bin to help us dispose of the weeds. Whilst we did this we looked at the difference between how an onion and broad bean grow. Can you see the difference?
Week 5 - Tending
Now all of our crops are busy growing, we have been making sure that we are watering them each day (especially during the hot days) and also carefully making sure the beds are weed free without disturbing the crops. We've also seen some of the seeds we sowed start to germinate too!
Week 6 - Growing
Although the weather hasn't been so sunny this week, it's helped our seeds start to germinate and our crops to carry on growing. We've seen our lettuce and radish seeds germinate as well as the marigold flower seeds too. Our broad beans are doing well and hopefully we'll see some potatoes soon too!
Country Trust @ Home
Alongside all of our fantastic work in school during lockdown, the children at home have been getting involved too!
They have been busy growing different crops at home and on their allotments and have been sending pictures to their class teachers.
Well done everyone on a fantastic team effort!
Week 7 - Harvesting & Tidying
This week we were busy harvesting some of our crops including the onions, broad beans and radish. We'd normally sell it at our playground markets to help us learn about profit and loss but as we are still in lockdown we decided to share it with the parents to help where we can.
We also watered our crops as they are starting to get bigger and also weeded and prepared the empty beds for new seeds next week.
Celebrating Our Success ...
We Made The Radio!
This afternoon (20.05.20), Mr Etheridge was interviewed by BBC Radio Suffolk host Lesley Dolphin all about our Country Trust project and how it has helped St Christopher's remain a team during lockdown. He also talked about how Sally from the Country Trust has continued to help us with her useful videos. They're even going to send us a special BBC certificate!
Listen to the interview below.
BBC Radio Suffolk - St Christopher's Country Trust Project
Celebrating Our Success ...
We Made The Paper!
In addition to our recent interview on BBC Radio Suffolk, our Country Trust lockdown project also featured in today's (29.05.20) edition of the Bury Free Press with a great picture of Daisy-Bow harvesting our spinach crop!
Celebrating Our Success ...
We featured on the Country Trust website!
Our lockdown Country Trust project is also featuring on their website, take a look below!
Week 8 - Tidying & Planning Ahead
As we move towards half term, we've spent time harvesting the last of our broad bean crop and making sure our growing beds were clear to let the soil settle over half term, ready for new crops to be sown when we return. When we get back we're going to focus on growing some potatoes and conduct an investigation into whether they grow better in a pot or in the ground.
Where do you think the potatoes will grow best?
Week 9 - Expanding Our Project
We're back from half term and settling into our new bubbles that help keep us safe as more children begin to return to school. To allow everyone to take part in our project, we've designated a growing bed, pack of equipment and time slot to each bubble so we can all enjoy growing a crop this half term. Some of our bubbles have enjoyed sowing runner bean seeds in pots which we have got on our desks in our classrooms so that we can watch the germination and growing process up close. When they're big enough we'll transfer them to our growing bed. One of our school topics this half term is called 'Sow It, Grow It' and is all about plants, including what they needs to grow, how they use water and learning all about the journey of the root and what pollination is. Our Country Trust project will be great to practically see our learning in real life.
Week 10 - Making Use of Wet Weather
This week has been wet and cold but to keep our project going, we turned our attentions to a mini project. Country Trust very kindly gave us a mini shed to store all our gardening equipment in including forks, rakes and gloves. Mr Etheridge and Miss Smith built this in their bubble with help from the children at the 2 meter distance. This was a great team effort. One of our bubbles has also seen their runner bean seeds they planted in pots starting to germinate and have really enjoyed watching the process happen on their desks. When the sun made an appearance one of our bubbles made good use of the time and went outside to do some weeding.
County Trust @ Home
As well as our project in school, the children at home are continuing to get involved too and have been sending pictures of their growing in. It's been great to see you all making good use of the weather! Hopefully when we are all back together, we can continue with the success of our growing beds and outdoor learning. Keep sending us your photos, we love to see them!
An Update From Sally ...
You might have noticed that there haven't been any video diaries from Sally recently. This is because Sally has been very busy moving house but she has kept in contact and has sent these pictures of the growing she is still managing to do.
Can you identify what Sally is growing? You might find some of the same crops in our growing beds in school at the moment.
Week 11 - Freshening Up Our Growing Area
This week, we've been very lucky to have a new batch of bark donated to us and our bubbles have been busy weeding, fixing the lining and finally laying the new bark which has really brought our growing area back to life. What do you think?
In addition to our hard work, we also planted some of our runner bean plants that we've been watching grow on our desks and got to look at the roots of a plant in real life. We finished our week by planting some pumpkin seeds which we hope to watch grow all the way up to October.
Week 12 - Harvesting Our Potatoes
This week we've been busy looking after our crops during the hot weather. We've also harvested our potatoes and had great fun hunting for them in the soil. We're going to share them out between all of our bubbles to take home and try. We've also been weeding and preparing the growing beds to sow our new crops of pumpkins, tomatoes and sweetcorn.
Country Trust @ Home
Even after all these weeks of lockdown, our children at home have continued to take part in our project and are enjoying growing a range of crops at home. It's been great receiving these photos and sharing them with the children in school. Well done everyone!
Farm in a Box
Yesterday one of our bubbles took part in an exciting Country Trust trial involving bringing the farm to our School. The day started with a special delivery to the school, we then got to watch videos from both Sally and a farmer called Phillip from Lathcoats farm near Essex. When we opened the box it was full of different activities for us to complete such as apple tasting, apple juice tasting, learning about the life cycle of apples and identifying important places to us in our school grounds. We even used the seeds from our favourite apple (Jazz) and planted them around the school in hope they will grow over the coming years.