Working with Henri Le Worm and
Woodlands Farm Trust
Charlton Manor Community Garden is an amazing, exciting and fun plot of land within 89 acres of beautiful farm and woodland of Woodlands Farm in South London. Our Community Garden has been created with the help of Woodlands Farm Trust, support from Olivier Blanc, creator of ‘Henri Le Worm’ App and Chris Collins the new head of Organic Horticulture for Garden Organic.
Every week on different mornings groups of children from years four, five and six work hard in the Community Garden. Each child not only gains the experience of food growing and caring for the produce they grow whilst learning how and where food comes from they are also encouraged to work in small groups developing their team building and social skills. The children can also put their maths, English and science skills to good use by linking their learning in the classroom to the real life experiences in the garden.
The months of September and October have been really busy for everyone; collecting and harvesting all the produce grown over the summer, sowing new produce to grow through the winter in the poly tunnels whilst getting everything tided up and ready outside for the winter months.
Highlights from the Community Garden include: Year five spending one morning building a huge bug hotel from old pallets collected from school. They had to size the pallets and ensure the structure was safe and then fill it with everything and anything found around the garden that bugs would love to live in. Year six harvested and prepared pumpkins, radishes and mint (along with our very own honey) ready for selling to Sticks n Sushi restaurant. With some great negotiating they made a grand total of £58. Year four helped fill the new poly tunnel raised beds with earth and new compost but before that had to line the insides of the beds with waterproof material.
All produce grown in the Community Garden is either used in our teaching kitchen, sold to parents via our school shop or grown to order and sold to a local restaurant Sticks n Sushi. This helps develop the children’s business and negotiating skills.
Pupils eat soup made of vegetables they harvested for the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Big Soup Share at Charlton Manor Primary School, London Friday October 4, 2019. Three thousand schools, community and youth groups have signed up to use their own grown garden produce to make and share soup over the week (7-13 October) with an estimated 60,000 litres expected to be served. Photo RHS / Luke MacGregor
Our community garden offers many benefits:
- An increase in a sense of community ownership.
- Cultural exchanges with other gardeners and visitors.
- Unique opportunities to teach children where food comes from, practical maths skills, issues of environmental sustainability, job and life skills and working together.
- Access to nutritionally rich foods possibly unavailable to low income families and individuals.
- Addressing the issue of child obesity.