Master Gardener Meagan, who has a particular interest in wildlife gardening, has been working Children and Families Services Strategic Co-ordinator Clare Foreman at Delce Children’s Centre in Rochester.
Meagan has been giving advice: “I have given a list to Clare of what to get in terms of seeds/seedlings and she managed to get volunteers to clear out the weeds – so I’ll be doing the planting – hopefully with some kids and families.
“The top section was completely cleared of weeds and tomato seedlings planted.
“We were debating on whether to plant them at the top with the potatoes and pumpkins or down by the play area where the children take pleasure in watering them.
“It seems in the past may of the plants died due to lack of watering, so this position for the tomatoes seemed ideal.
“Potatoes had been planted and were coming along nicely. Compost had been purchased and I had some pumpkin seeds and some wildflower seeds. I had to prepare half the bed where the potatoes were planted and one whole bed where we will grow a few more herbs.
“I sowed the pumpkin seeds which were out of date but hopefully that won’t matter! I also brought in some seeds for swan-shaped squash that I thought we could try to grow in cups for the kids.”
Master Gardeners are food growing advocates who work with schools, children’s centres, workplaces and residential homes to encourage and support people to start growing fruit and vegetables.
They all have a minimum of two years experience of food growing and a passion to share their experience.
If you are a school, workplace or residential home who would like support from a Master Gardener volunteer, please get in touch with co-ordinator Liza here.
If you are an experienced food grower and would like to join the Master Gardener programme as a volunteer (30 hours in a year) please get in touch here.
“We have loads of small pots for them so we will grow a variety of things such as cress, beans, squash and some chives. These can be left at school or the kids can take them home. We are still working on the best way to deliver the workshops as the kids are so small but we are thinking of story time (nature/food-growing inspired stories) enjoying a healthy snack, and with Emma Ventham’s [Kent Wildlife Trust] help possible some mini-bug hunts (I saw several giant worms in the garden so we could do something around worms and how they help plants to grow).
“Oh, I also prepared a grow bag of potatoes to sit in the middle of the potato plants.”
Claire: “It is absolutely fab to have Meagan here. She is so enthusiastic and given us some good suggestions. What she has done so far has been really helpful. She just just get on with it.
“Having a Master Gardener has been beneficial to us in terms our offer to the families. My horticultural knowlege is zero, she Meagan is planting herbs for us. Sensory wise, for the children, this is great.
“In August they will have something to take away, cress and mint and parsley. Meagan is very approachable and a calming influence and the children will like being with her.”