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I returned from my holiday in the winter wonderland of highland Scotland to find a surprise early birthday present from my mum had been delivered – 2 apple trees.

So we have been busy clearing space in the garden to plant them. Hard work but very satisfying. Then, recovering with a cup of tea I caught the Food Programme on Radio 4, which was all about the potato. Fascinating history and discussion of the politics of who determines what varieties of potato are available. It’ll be on BBC Radio 4 Listen Again till Sunday.

What was really magical was what an asian man at a potato fair had to say. First about how much pleasure it is to grow your own vegetables and then he said “the greatest wealth is sowing a seed and getting ten fruits from it, that is true wealth and that spirit needs to come back”.

Wise words, and in that spirit I am about to start a gardening club at the primary school where I work. I already have a keen group of Year 6 volunteers running the composting (and recycling). So it will be an opportunity for the children, most of whom live on a council estate in flats with no gardens, to have a go at growing some fruit and veg. I’ve bought some seeds and we’ll be making pots out of newspaper, using a handy wooden gadget.

I am looking forward to the whole experience with them and to some delicious strawberries, carrots… and potatoes!



  1. Best of luck with the club. I really miss being able to grow my own stuff, but not much change of a decent tomato crop in the frozen wastes of a Latvian balcony.

    • shirleyford
    • Posted March 11, 2009 at 10:37 pm
    • Permalink

    Thanks, and sorry to hear about your restricted growing space. We are making use of an underused courtyard at school and we’ve had some lovely spring sunshine to get on with planting a potato barrel, a container of carrots and some alpine strawberries. I have been delighted by the enthusiasm of the dozen children who’ve joined the club. This week they’ve planted chillies and taken them home to look after on their windowsills. Some of them have been telling me their mums grow stuff on their balconies, or if they’re lucky enough to have a postage stamp sized garden, particularly the Bangladeshi families.
    BTW great to see your link to Guerilla Gardening, I had friends in New York in the nineties who were guerilla gardeners – it was fantastic visiting them.

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