A kitchen garden at Petchey Academy

In Spring 2009 we were approached by Petchey Academy to work with them to create a ‘Green Team’ – a group of pupils and staff committed to raising awareness of environmental issues right across the school.

With the help of Lottery funding and volunteers recruited through Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall’s innovative Landshare website, the Green Team not only worked on recycling, climate change and energy projects but decided to use some land in the school grounds to create a garden in which they would learn to grow food.

And what a fantastic kitchen garden they’ve made: a wide range of fruit and vegetables are picked year-round, some of which go home with the pupils and some of which are used by Petchey’s talented kitchen staff to make tasty ‘home-cooked’ meals.

Pupil and resident feedback was great, too: one pupil even said that they were originally expecting the project to be ‘rubbish… but then it turned out to be really good’!  The garden gave local residents without land of their own the chance to grow things, as well as give something back to their local community; and the school environment has been greatly improved too, with the allotment spaces extending almost to their southern boundary, making them visible from the road.

The work in the garden continues and new beds have been created to grow an even wider array of fruit and veg – with plans this year to develop a soft fruit area for delicious raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries.  We can’t wait!

Growing food at Petchey Academy


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