On Monday and Tuesday Year 3 and 4 travelled to Tuppenny Barn in Southbourne to learn about where food comes from; the nutritional benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables; and to understand how to ‘grown your own’ and prepare healthy fresh meals.
Tuppenny Barn is a non-profit organic smallholding which grows and sells organic fruit and vegetables and aims to be a beacon of sustainable living for the local community; “A Place to Grow, Naturally”.
As the pupils arrived they were greeted by Abi Young, Tuppenny Barn’s Education Officer, and her fantastic team of volunteers, who had planned lots of fun activities for the day ahead. After a short Q&A session to find out how much the pupils knew about organic farming, recycling and sustainability, the children set off on their first activity.
As group 1 headed out on a tour of the small holding, group 2 picked herbs and vegetables from the gardens to make a delicious seasonal soup. Back in the kitchen the children were tasked with peeling, grating and chopping the ingredients which included; carrots, parsnips, onions, turnips, potato, leaks and garlic. They also picked some curly kale to make kale crisps.
Out in the grounds, group 1 explored a variety of areas including the pond, the polytunnel and the Orchard. They also found out how different herbs from ‘Lizzie’s Herb Bank’ were used, and learnt that the Dragonfly dates back to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Unfortunately due to the cold weather, the pupils didn’t get to see any creatures in the ‘Minibeast Hotel’, ‘Newt House’ and ‘Slowworm Hut’. However, they learnt some very interesting facts about the local wildlife and their natural habitats; everyone was shocked to hear that hedgehogs are now as endangered worldwide as tigers!
As they walked through the polytunnel the children tried some home-grown rocket, which was a lot stronger than packets you buy in the supermarket. With mixed reviews, and thumbs up from the staff, it was great to see all the children trying something new. The pupils also got to touch and smell different herbs through the ‘companion garden’, which ranged from curry plants to lavender.
The last stop on the tour was to see the bee hives, which the children were looking forward to the most. Even though winter is still upon us, the sun was shining on Monday and a few bees came out to welcome their visitors to their home. As the students headed back to the education centre Abi gave a few interesting facts about these amazing creatures;
- There is 1 queen to a hive, and she can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day during the summer.
- 95% of the hive is made up of females, as they do all the hard work such as pollination and making honey.
- 1 in 3 bites of food we eat have been pollinated by bees.
- A third of all food we eat is pollinated by insects.
- 80% of all food that is pollinated is done so by bees.
- If we didn’t have animals that pollinated our food, self-pollination would cost the food industry around £1.8 billion.
After swapping activities halfway through the morning, the children then got to try the delicious soup and kale crisps they had made. The staff were very proud of all the students, as everyone tried a mouthful of the seasonal soup. After a few mixed reviews, the votes (from both visits) came in with most of the students giving it 5 out of 5!
After a spot of lunch, the children were refuelled and ready for the afternoon’s activities. First up was a mapping activity; Abi asked the children to draw a new map of Tuppenny Barn, as hers was out of date, and the children did not disappoint, as they remembered the location of the different features and the finer details of the small holding. The pupils will be finishing off their maps in class, and Mrs Robertson is hoping to send the finished ones back to Abi for her to use.
The last activity of the day was making bird feeders and potting beetroot. By using sunflower seeds, the children designed their own patterns on half an apple, tying string around the middle so it could be easily hung up. These were great to make as everyone, even those without gardens, could hang the apple outside to feed the birds. The children then made small paper pots out of newspaper and planted a small beetroot seed in the middle. Mrs Robertson and Mrs Trinkwon will be holding a competition in class to see whose grows the quickest!
Both Year 3 and 4 had a brilliant time, and we would like to thank Abi and her team for a fantastic day that was filled with fun activities to help the students with this term’s topic on ‘land and mapping’.