Today marked Cheltenham's first home ed gardening club: Little Buds! It was a great afternoon full of little inquisitive minds that really only nature can stimulate in a child.
Before it began though, we had a morning of work to get through. Eggs needed to be collected in order to make pancakes...
...and chickens needed to be cleaned and caught!
Jenson also got stuck into making a book all about castles. No words were involved, it was purely a picture book. When he had finished it I asked him if he would like to read it to me but he declined saying he was too tired from the activity!
Meanwhile Wren was outside doing what she loves best: watering the flowers! She does this most days without any encouragement from me. She seems to really enjoy the task and it is a total pleasure to watch. Back inside, I got Jenson writing up the plant labels. His attention span is still that of a gnat's, managing only two labels before loosing concentration!
As our 1.30pm start time drew near, I got a few things ready. I laid out seed trays and opened up bags of compost.
Jenson and Wren, curious as to what I was up to, hastily booted up and came outside. They were eager to make a start on planting all the seeds we had bought last week. First up were the peas. Jenson was meticulous in his approach. Once he had filled the gutter up with soil, he carefully raked the surface.
Next they made little holes with their fingers and dropped a seed in each.
Wren took charge of watering...
...and Jenson labelled.
Once planted, Jenson marched each seed tray round to the greenhouse where the seeds will hopefully germinate over the next few weeks.
Next up Jenson planted pumpkins while Wren did sweetcorn.
Jenson did a super job planting the runner beans, spacing them evenly and patting the soil down firmly.
Our first Little Buds arrived and together they helped to finish off planting, watering and labelling all the seeds.
The next job I got them all doing was splitting the old strawberry bags I had acquired from Primrose Vale Farm Shop. The old strawberry soil is apparently an excellent soil improver and much needed on our raised vegetable beds.
It was all far too much like hard work for Wren, who was leisurely watching the other children labour away!
Turning the soil over naturally unearthed lots of worms and so the children found a new activity they could all share and enjoy together. I suggested they might like to feed their haul of worms to the chickens, who would appreciate the treat. There were a few turned up noses at this point but these quickly turned to big smiles as the children watched with delight as the chikens gobbled up the tasty worms!
Meanwhile, some of the children were making mini grass gardens from turf I had dug up from one of the vegetable beds.
Lego makes an appeance in every activity we do!
The fruit of our labour! Our greenhouse is bulging with seeds that we hope will sprout into lots of wonderful vegetables that the children can watch grow over the coming months.
I asked Jenson if he enjoyed himself today and he said he had a super time, so much so, that he has asked if we can set up another club! He would like to start a craft club and he wants the first session to focus on making craft lorries!! It made me laugh and also sweat slightly! Between Lego club and Little Buds I'm not sure how many more clubs I can cope with! Still, I shan't let him down and so no doubt very soon you might see some post or other on Facebook about Little Crafters...