Good news for veggie patch

Children at the Giant Veggie Patch
Children at the Giant Veggie Patch

A LEYLAND community food-growing project is being helped by a class of green-fingered schoolchildren.

The Giant Veggie Patch, on Bannister Drive, has teamed up with nearby Northbrook Primary School.

The youngsters from Year 4 have been seeding, planting potatoes and looking after the veggie patch’s nature and wildlife area for an hour every Thursday afternoon.

Teacher Jane Latham said the experience has been hugely valuable for her class.

She said: “The children have loved it. We’re in quite a needy, deprived area, and the experience has been fantastic. It’s something many of them just don’t get to do.

“The children have been so keen that they’ve come back from the veggie patch and asked if they can do the same in the school garden too.

“It was very overgrown, so they’ve been weeding and chopping it all back, and they’ve put some potatoes in. They’ve really loved it, and after Easter the Year 3s will be going too.”

Working on the vegetable patch has also helped the children’s learning in some unexpected areas.

Jane said: “It’s taught them about looking after the community and citizenship, and after Easter we’ll be looking at life cycles, the germination of plants and learning about insects.

“I didn’t realise just how much I could tie into it.”

The attraction has also been boosted by the news that it is soon to get a carved oak bench.

Local councillor Mike France has commissioned Franc Ashcroft, of the Shaw Trust, to create the feature.

Franc said: “It will be quite eye-catching and be a one-off, bespoke feature.

“I’ve got it constructed and now I need to carve it.”

A spokeswoman for the Giant Veggie Patch said that they would like to do more work with children.

She said: “We would like to get a children’s club started at some point for children on the Broadfield Estate, but we haven’t got the right people to do it at the moment.

“The children from Northbrook just love coming on to the patch, and we will do an assessment at the end of summer to see what they’ve learned. I am sure that they gain a great deal from it.”