Edible Garden

Edible Gardens at St Marys School and Bridport Primary School.

They came to raise the tunnel!

In 2014 St Mary’s School in Bridport launched its edible garden, and since then children at the school have learnt about organic gardening and grown vegetables for school lunches.

Now Bridport Primary School has a forest garden, opened on 7 April 2022 with a big launch event. Teachers, parents, pupils and friends of the school came to support and celebrate the second Edible Garden opening. There was delicious hot food from Giles at Luscious Bowls of Tasty Yum, a brilliant egg hunt, a photo display of the garden’s story and refreshment drinks and cakes.

After full consultation with the pupils’ School Council, months of fund raising and the work of a dedicated team of volunteers, the school’s new fruit and vegetable garden was launched. It is designed as a Forest Garden, an allotment with perennial plants and trees and a place for wildlife. This form of garden is sustainable and can adapt to the changing climate while encouraging biodiversity. A pond, raised beds, soft fruit, and a wild area. 

It will also include a polytunnel. The tunnel is important for protection from bad weather. The plan was to raise the polythene cover for the roof on Thursday, but this had to be postponed due to the wind. Michaela Kite, the headteacher, put a positive spin on this “ this is excellent because we will have another gathering on 12th May to do that”.

Transition Town Bridport, Home in Bridport and Opera Circus, the latter a performing arts organization based in Bridport, are the charitable bodies that have raised the money through their fund raisers Tina Ellen Lee and Sarah Wilberforce. Tina said “ Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation were so generous in supporting this essential cause, especially post-covid where playing, growing and eating outside is healthier and safer. This edible garden will provide a great educational resource to show children how we can grow food and also to study nature. 

Other local charities who gave generously were the Rotary Club of Bridport, Co-operate Community Fund, Wessex Water Foundation, Bridport Town Council, Dorset Council and Morrisons; thanks also to Kitson & Trotman for their support of St. Mary’s Edible Garden.The school community raised a magnificent £1000 through Just Giving to install a classroom/ shed, supplied at a heavily discounted rate by Groves; and a teacher and a parent organized a supply of garden tools from Morrisons ‘Good to Grow’ scheme. 

More fundraising events are planned at the school, and the Edible Garden team is seeking sponsors to pay for a part time gardener/teacher. We are calling for parents with green fingers to volunteer on alternate Thursdays – please contact Sarah.

Photographs by Robert Golden

Launch of a new Home in Bridport website

Home in Bridport have produced a new website, with the story of the Edible Gardens at St Mary's School and Bridport Primary school, with wonderful photographs by Robert Golden. It can be viewed here.

Edible Garden projects at St Mary's and Bridport Primary School

Run in association with Home in Bridport and

Opera Circus. Photos by Robert Golden.

The Edible and Forest Garden (EG2) at Bridport Primary School is developing slowly thanks to the volunteers. We could certainly do with more help as and when people have time. We look forward to the children, school and the community getting more involved at the start of the Autumn Term. What a magnificent space this is and how much growing and learning is going to be possible. We have built the compost bed areas, made space for the new shed (still funding to raise here) and the Polytunnel is on its way. Thanks to all who have made this possible.

Teresa Perrella and Sarah Wilberforce are trying to get ahead and plan events for EG1(St. Mary’s) and EG2(BPS); so that the school children can participate through planning their garden, volunteers can join in practically and fund raising happens in their community.

A date to 'launch' EG2 at BPS? We think this could be linked up with World Food Day which is on October 16th – maybe Saturday afternoon? The theme this year is ‘The need to support our food heroes - farmers and workers throughout the food system’. This would be an occasion to involve the whole community in covering the polytunnel and provide a meal for all the helpers.

A date for EG1 at St. Mary’s could be a special event when they have their Harvest Festival - usually at the beginning of October. We could start a fundraising scheme at that time too, and work with their PTA. We were very successful when we did this two years ago. Their Fruit Orchard and Hedgerow was planted during lockdown and is now thriving through the nurture of the EG team. There is established good links with staff at St. Mary’s and we will continue the Wednesday afternoon sessions gardening and cooking – rotating a class through each half term.

We do not plan to have weekly but fortnightly at BPS, on a Friday afternoon. We need to drum up more support there, which should be easier once term time starts. There is no doubt, in these present times, that learning to grow food and eat healthily outdoors is crucial for our children. Do get in touch with Sarah hereif you can help in any way.”

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