Chelsea Flower Show for Children: Edible Playgrounds

edible playground at chelsea photo.jpg

This charming garden shows how a school could create a small kitchen garden for children. By planting, watering, composting, harvesting and then cooking what they have grown, children are able to develop a better understanding of where food comes from and the impact of the environment. It is sponsored by Dorset Cereals which makes a healthy muesli-like cereal. The programme started in San Francisco. Now it is being developed at schools in Dorset and is available through an attractive and accessible website.

The small garden is a gem, with a thirty year old apple tree from an orchard in Dorset as its focal point and a woven willow fence along the side. It has raised beds with vegetables in neat rows including salad greens, herbs and carrots. These are planted because they have a short growing season and can be harvested (and eaten) quickly. Runner beans on tall stick stakes add a contrast, as do the sun flowers which are bright and big and fun. There is a compost bin, and a trellis-covered water tank. Along the side of the raised bed is written a lovely snippet: sow it, grow it... eat it!. Posted on the school door is a list of duties to be carried out and little wellies (rubber boots) for the wet weather. The playground, which won the Gold medal for best Courtyard Garden, will be taken to a primary school in Dorset, where no doubt its produce will be gobbled up. :: Dorset Cereals Via :: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

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