Snow problem; vegetable patch preparation!

Snow problem; vegetable patch preparation!

The first snow forecast of winter resulted in an early gardening start as I had to remove the small gauge netting from the roof of my vegetable cage to prevent the frame collapsing under the weight of the white stuff.

Dawn on a very frosty morning in Staffordshire found me unclipping the netting from the sides and then rolling it back.  It is a very large cage and it took two of us almost an hour to remove the netting.   I keep it in the greenhouse over winter and the winter sprouts and other greens are protected from the pigeons and pheasant by a two-inch square net roof.

I was glad to see a heavy frost as my leek crop is being damaged by the unseasonal warm weather and they are still growing and splitting.  I hope the cold will help them recover.

Graham Paskett

Should gardening be on the curriculum?

Earlier this year, at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ annual conference in Liverpool, delegates voted to urge the government to put gardening on the curriculum. It was suggested that teaching gardening skills would help to combat obesity, but there are many other benefits to it than just that. Yes, teaching gardening gets children to be active and spend time in the fresh air, but it also reconnects them with nature.

Growing up in rural Suffolk, I remember a time when, on holiday from university, a friend of mine brought some friends ‘from the city’ to visit the farm she grew up on. I was really surprised when they exclaimed that they had never seen fruit and vegetables actually growing, having only ever seen them in their pre-packaged form. This disconnection with where food comes from surely has an effect on children’s enjoyment of it, and appreciation for the time and energy that goes in to growing it?

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