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Allotment may yield prize-winning produce
Rushall School pupils have just a year in which to prepare and plant up their new allotment in the hope of winning classes at the village’s flower and vegetable show.
All 102 children in the school, run by Marion Harvey and her husband David, will be involved in the allotment.
Mrs Harvey is hoping the venture will give the pupils a life-long love of gardening and encourage them to grow their own produce.
The school is renting a half-plot on the village’s allotments site and a group of parents have been doing the heavy work of clearing it ready for cultivation.
The vegetables will not be in time for this year’s Rushall Gardening Show on July 21 but the children, said their head teacher, will be gaining valuable growing experience so that they can plan to grow some award-winning produce in 2013.
“The idea behind it is to teach children about sustainability and how to grow their own produce and healthy food,” Mrs Harvey said.
However, the allotment covers more subjects than just horticulture, she said – the pupils will also have to do their own book keeping and produce charts of how much the seeds and plants cost and, after harvest, how much they have saved by growing their own food.
Even if their vegetables are not ready in time for this year’s Rushall produce show, the school is planning to invite villagers in for home- made soup day later this year using some of the vegetables produced on the pupils’ plot, which has now been cleared of weeds.
Mrs Harvey: “It’s now down to the children to look after it.”
Although the season is well advanced, the children have been planting pumpkins, courgettes, runner beans, strawberries, beetroot and tomatoes.
Pupils from each class go along to their plot in small groups, walking the 200 yards from their school to the allotments.