Today we took a bundle of trees and shrubs that had been donated by Food Forest Brum (and had been heeled in on the allotment for a while) round to Holy Trinity Primary School in a wheel barrow, along with some stakes and ties, spades and watering cans. We’d already supplied labels with the names of all of the plants on them in advance and the whole class decorated the reverse side of the labels with their own artwork, all inspired by the idea of planting fruit trees in their new nature area.
The first thing we did was lay out the six fruit trees and ten or so shrubs and soft fruits in their planting positions, roughly in a circle around the perimeter of about half the nature area, at the opposite end to the pond. The next thing was to dig the holes and this was harder than we thought as it turned out this ground had been used for dumping waste building materials in the past and was full of hard things that our spades bounced off and we were soon running out of time before the children were due to come out and help plant them!
Perseverance paid off (and a few last minute changes to the planting locations) and we just managed to get the holes ready before we were joined by the children who came out in small groups and helped by adding compost to the holes and firming and watering in each tree and shrub, one at a time. We then added the children’s labels and quickly got onto the next one, so we could get all sixteen planted before the end of school. When the bell went the children came back together with their parents to show off their wonderful artworks and the results of their environmental action – a new mini orchard that will give lots of fruit and provide shelter and interest for years to come!