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Raddlebarn Big Harvest Winners Update!

The school have now announced the winners of the Raddlebarn Big Harvest 2016 photo competition!

 

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Congratulations to the Shpanin, Forcer, Hunt and Pickering families of Raddlebarn! We have handed over the main prize and the runner up prize to the school. The school have added an extra two winners to the mix because they were so impressed with the entries they found it very difficult to choose! These winners will be getting additional mystery prizes from the school – we don’t knwo what the school picked out for them so do get in touch and let us know!

 

Happy Growing and see you in 2017 Raddlebarn 😀

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Special Award from Kingstanding Food Community

We were pleased to announce at the KFC leaving party, our course leader Stephanie Adelaar was given a special award for her contributions to the project by the director of Forest Schools Birmingham, Afric Crossan.

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The event was primarily a celebration of the volunteers and staff (one of whom is our main course leader Alan Bale) who worked on the project over the last three years. The project is now sadly closing, but the volunteers are determined to continue on with the community spirit and work they have developed to date. If you wish to show your support for this project you can do so by simply visiting the aviva community page for Kingstanding Food Community and registering your vote for thier project. Any and all votes would be much appreciated and help to continue the project onwards into the future.

 

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Big Harvest Photo Competition

Sustainable Life organised the Big Harvest 2016 this year at Raddlebarn Primary School with funding from Forest Schools Birmingham and seed donation courtesy of Wyevale Garden Centre.

We were pleased to also run a Facebook Competition for the event in which a variety of parents got stuck in with some amazing photographs!

The teachers at Raddlebarn Primary School have been gracious enough to judge the competition entries and have now decided on thier winners. We are awaiting to hear the results of this in the next Raddlebarn Newsletter and will let you all know ASAP!

In the meantime we were very pleased to see our Course Leader Stephanie Adelaar mentioned in the newsletter who organised the event and invested so much of her time into the project and the growing club.

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We’ve gathered together the prizes for the competition and they are now in the hands of the Raddlebarn teachers who are arranging the winner announcements. Here is the sneak preview of what is up for grabs!

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Willow Donation for Sarehole Mill Museum

Sarehole Mill Museum were recently looking to restore and expand thier Wattle and Daub wall structure for thier learning team experiences with schools. We had a look at the project together and decided to donate our leftover Willow wands and Calendula rods to build a “wigwam” type structure. This will be covered in the daub mixture by participating children later on.

We visited last week and had a fun time with learning officer Louise building an exciting enclosure for kids to play with and in! We will keep you updated on how it looks when the kids start adding clay to the weave.

 

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Let us Grow Lettuce

I gave this a go recently out of sheer desperation. We had a big hole in our garden ready for autumn/winter planting and an inspection looming just a few days away. With nothing left in the garden centres we were racking our brains how best to quickly fill up the mini plot to make sure it looked like we weren’t just needlessly making a big hole in the garden. As it turned out, they didn’t even look at what we’d done to the garden, but at least it gave us a solid push to get our stuff sorted for the year!

I was trawling through the supermarket and there it was… a pack of lettuce. But not a cellophane wrapped cut lettuce head or ready to eat bag mix, it was those “still growing” fresh varieties that are all the rage right now with force grown lettuce jam packed into a small container of thin soil that last just a few days longer than normal if you get them home to sun and water quickly.

Not this one but something just like this (from the mysupermarket website):

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The lettuce is tiny and delicate – and that’s good if you’re into that but it you want something substantial you should think about replanting it. Yep, turns out that this little tray of lettuce has so many seedlings in it, a third of this small tray produced two packed rows of lettuce on my mini plot. They toughened up in no  time with a temporary poundland polytunnel which lasted just long enough to prepare them for their new outdoor life (about a week – not worth the pound).

This is the little beauties a week later after I removed the destroyed polytunnel.

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Not only did they survive, but they have grown very well, given a new lease of life they took to the new average soil very well no doubt starved of nutrients long ago in their little tray and have become good sized plants. I am now just a few weeks later cutting leaves off for my salads without much thought. The leaves are still also relatively delicate and they aren’t tasteless, tough abominations.

Considering this tray of lettuce cost me £1 (from the reduced section) and I easily have more than 10 lettuces out of a third of the tray I’d call that excellent value for money and a great fast turnaround for the vacant autumn plot. I’m definitely recommending this trick for anyone in need of fast lettuce or looking to get some lettuce seedlings out of garden centre season.

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