Southcote Children and Community Centre
Community centre based site: Garden Gang parents & under 5s
Based at Coronation Square, the centre has been gardening with food4families since June 2009. The space at the back of the community hall has been transformed into a garden where families can start to learn about growing their own food. It is designed to be very child-friendly. As well as a small play area there are raised willow beds for food growing, lots of planting in a variety of containers, compost bins and water-butts harvesting rainwater. Some of the young people who use the centre have created a mural out of recycled materials to brighten up one of the walls.
We grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables that will appeal to children. These include peas, beans, salad leaves, sweetcorn and carrots, as well as everyones favourite - strawberries! Most sessions we have fun doing plenty of watering, sowing seeds or digging out the weeds whilst looking for our friendly worms.
We also have many herbs that people pick & we have leanrt about how to grow them at home. We often have a snack during the session of freshly picked fruit or vegetables, and finish with a fun garden themed story. The children usually take away something to cook for tea or pots of seeds they have sown to grow at home.
Chidlren and carers can just turn up and get gardening.
People involved in the project in the first year have been very positive. At the toddler group carers commented on how they enjoyed taking home plants we had sowed:
"The tomatoes we planted did really well, the children loved eating them."
and another said that:
"The sunflower and bean we did here grew like mad!"
We grew veggies in the raised beds in the nursery garden which the children then harvested and ate. When pulling up the carrots the children were very excited and could barely wait for them to be washed before they ate them. The nursery manager said that:
"The children made the best tasting soup I have ever had! It was delicious!"
If you would like to find out more about the project please contact us.