Growing Space is creatively transforming underused green spaces into organic edible teaching gardens for surrounding schools & communities.
The idea behind this initiative is to provide school children with that rare gift of earth in which to plant and watch things grow, instilling an awareness and appreciation for where food comes from. We want to help communities reconnect with nutritious foods, healthy habits and inspire greater stewardship of our natural environment.
Aims of the garden
- Basic Gardening skills: eg linked to physical development, hand and eye coordination skills: how to use garden tools, weeding/watering/how to grow a plant/vegetable and other
- Basic Health and Food hygiene safety skills (washing hands, PPE equipment etc…)
- Sensory activities (smell, touch, taste…)
- Potting, Sowing, Digging, planting: Teaching/Learning about different parts of plants
- Growing vegetables and fruits/Picking/Harvesting crops
- Learning about edible/non-edible flowers, Herbs/Medicinal plants, Dyeing plants, woodland plants, fruits trees and vegetables
- Learning about edible flowers/plants and plants and their poisonous parts
- Learning about plants we can eat, those we can’t.
- Growing in Window sills/beds/containers in pots
- Further activities: Scavenger hunts, cooking, sharing meals (tasting sessions) etc…
Examples of Forest School activities include:
- Nature exploration and environmental education (on recycling, composting…)
- Mud kitchen
- Building dens and other structures (bug hotel, tree house, etc.)
- Fires and cooking (with a Kelly kettle)
- Games and invitations for imaginative play
- Hand crafts made from natural materials
- Climbing and balancing over logs/trees
- Using tools, such as secateurs, hand drills, knives, bow saw…
- Treasure hunt/bug hunt and adventure
- Woodland crafts
We are based in Kensington and Chelsea, where we are uniquely positioned to connect schools, which enjoy little or no outdoor space, with local churches whose gardens are either underused or could be more creatively shared.
Such a partnership benefits the whole community as the garden is fully utilised by local schools during term time and by the greater community during school holidays. Once we have identified all willing partners we engage a third-party contractor for the custom design and installation of the edible garden. With raised beds, seating, shade, composting system and greenhouse, these outdoor spaces become vibrant gathering places full of life year-round.
Growing Space goes one step further in that we ensure that the gardens are properly maintained and cared for by employing a dedicated and site specific environmental coordinator who not only supports school staff as needed, but also runs community workshops during school holidays and weekends.