The new educational garden will replace Growing Local’s previous garden at Court Farm in Tillington. The original garden was set up in 2009 and has served several thousand primary and secondary aged children over the years. The lease came to an end on 1st May 2021.
The new garden will be established similarly in layout and design to our Court Farm garden as this has served us so successfully, though will be around double in size to facilitate bigger class or group sizes. The actual central garden will be 40m x 40m but with a large perimeter path space that connects the field kitchen and willow stand, soft fruits area, herb garden, perennial insect attracting flower beds, demo wormery, demo rotary composter and composting facility and other educational attractions.
The educational garden will contain:
- Two new polytunnels, one for propagation, one for growing
- Three new sheds for tool and equipment storage
- Undercover areas for sun or rain protection
- A central circular seating area for workshop start and end briefings
- A variety of interesting and attractive raised beds and work areas of different sizes, heights and shapes, utilising up-cycling as far as possible e.g. old tractor tyres
- The garden will be accessible for everyone, for all ages, abilities and disabilities from nursery aged children through to the elderly
- A partially covered outdoor field kitchen with workstation tables, outdoor cooking facilities and a fire pit
- Hand-washing and vegetable-washing stations
- Vibrant visuals, interactive displays and signage throughout to encourage independent visits outside of workshop times
- Composting area and wormeries
- Nearby bee hives to pollinate our produce which visitors will be able to visit as part of their workshops
The ethos of the Growing Local educational garden is to connect people with where their food comes from, how it grows, when it’s in season and how it’s picked. We want our visitors to get their hands dirty and relish learning about growing and caring for plants, inspiring generations of future home growers.
The gardens will be open all year round for workshops, gardening clubs and independent self-guided visits. The garden will supply the cook school through the seasons, from winter salad leaves and roots, to spring greens and rhubarb to bountiful summer tomatoes and courgettes and autumnal squash and apples.
We will continue to deliver our successful educational programme of Grow-Cook-Eat workshops to local primary and secondary schools, nurseries, community groups, families and adults from this new site, increasing user numbers and enlarging our programme and offer.
Children and Family Education:
- Primary and secondary school Gardening and Harvest Cook Workshops from Hereford, Herefordshire and outside the county schools
- Bespoke schools workshops to fit with class topics, themes and/or curriculum requirements
- Small group SEN and nurture sessions, pupil referral unit visits
- Community group sessions e.g. scouts, guides, church/faith groups, youth group visits
- After school gardening clubs
- Weekend and holiday Family and Children Only Gardening Workshops, Harvest Cook Workshops
- Children’s Holiday Schemes
- Wildlife, art and forest school type sessions
- Workshops can include farm tours of the community garden, bee area and heritage orchard
- Private hire opportunities
- Relevant workshops will be integrated with the Southside Cook School, during all cook workshops visitors will get to pick the produce they cook directly from the educational garden.
Education is central to the philosophy driving Growing Local. Connecting the community to its food has to have a life beyond the seasons and we want growers of all ages to be born from our Market Garden and spread the word, skills and growing.
- Adult Gardening Days and Gardening Clubs for mental health groups, the unemployed, NEET, sick, elderly, socially isolated or vulnerable community members
- Short half day or full day courses – private or subsidised sessions
- Horticultural and land based NVQs