Left to right: Liam, Mr Milton (rural skills coordinator and DT teacher) and Robbie, holding all the certificates and a few of the well-earned prizes.
Over the last 2 years, the Webster’s High School rural skills group and Sustainable Kirriemuir have been working hard to produce lots of pesticide-free vegetables. Their produce has supplied the school’s H.E. Department and the growers have also been able to take some home to share with their families.
The growing space has changed quite a bit over this time, especially with the amazing ‘lockdown poly-tunnel’ that was built by Mr Milton and Mr Clark last summer. This provided another element to the practical techniques that the group could learn, as they were now able to grow plants that prefer a warmer climate. They added 9 vegetable growing beds and a ‘strawberry tower’ made out of old tractor tyres.
They have grown leeks, cabbages, brussel sprouts, tatties (purple, pink and white!), tomatoes, chillies, kale, spinach, rocket, butternut squash, courgettes, beans, lettuce, purple sprouting broccoli and lots and lots of flowers.
Most of the veg and flowers were grown from seed, but the group have also learned how to take cuttings, collect strawberry runners for planting and take hardwood cuttings, so they have learned about a range of propagative techniques.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have put together a reward scheme for schools that have developed a garden, which is split into 5 levels.
After looking through the programme and noting the range of skills learnt, jobs done and criteria for fulfilling each level, it was clear that the rural skills group had gained enough experience over the past 2 years to be eligible to apply for all 5!
All of the evidence was submitted, with pictures of the group planting, sowing, growing, weeding and selling veg, then they started to receive the certificates and prizes! These included lots of seeds for next year, a great book; ‘Year In The Garden’, full of helpful tips and jobs to do in the garden each month, posters of weeds and pests to look out for to put up in the shed, and gift certificates for tool supplies!
A very special congratulations to Liam and Robbie (pictured above), who are now in their 2nd year of Webster’s horticultural training and were paramount in helping Webster’s complete all 5 levels of the RHS awards. Here’s to more fantastic growing in the next year!