Phoenix School Farm and Learning Zone
Winter Newsletter (December 2014 & January 2015)
The farm volunteers were kept busy in December, cleaning the greenhouses, turning the compost heaps and sorting pots. They also enjoyed some sessions making Christmas wreaths. On the 19th December 15 of them attended the Community Christmas lunch which the school puts on every year. It’s a special event specifically for senior members who live in the local area. A choir from Wormholt Park Primary School came and sang carols, and the Phoenix School dinner ladies cooked a delicious 3 course Christmas lunch, including pumpkin soup made from farm grown giant pumpkins! The service was brilliant because it was provided by a team of Post 16 Phoenix students who worked very hard to keep everyone happy and festive.
January is a quieter time on the farm as the volunteers take the month off. The ‘Get Out There’ team visited the farm on Friday 16th January. They did a great job of pruning the wildlife hedge and removing large quantities of bramble. We also had a visit from 15 children from Little Owls nursery enjoyed making worm porridge for the chickens and also fed the rabbits. The Year 7 Farm Lunch Club students have been braving the cold weather (Farm Lunch club is a mix of food growing, cooking & healthy eating activities) The students have been focusing on animal care, looking after their plants and making things. They made some winter fruit and veg treats for the rabbits and chickens and have been looking through old gardening magazines and making badges.
We had a 2 page article published in January, in a national magazine called ‘Grow Your Own’, highlighting the important work we do on the farm.
Cath has been working on the new farm growing plan for the year ahead and planning sessions and activities for spring on the farm (In partnership with HCGA)
Spring Events at Phoenix School Farm
Tuesday 3rd February, re-start of Volunteer Food Grower Sessions after the winter break. Sessions are every Tuesday and Friday 10am -1pm. Come and help look after the farm and learn how to grow your own. Contact Cath 07971 748758
Wednesday 18th & Thursday 19th February, Half term sessions as part of the SAFE Holiday Club. Have fun on the farm growing and making things. Help look after the rabbits and chickens. Booking has to done through Phoenix High School 0208 7491141
Saturday 28th February 10am – 2pm, Pruning Course. Learn how to choose and use the right tools for the job, and practice pruning on our fruit trees and shrubs. To book a place, contact Liz on 07535 507557
Tuesday 3rd March, 10.30am -12.30pm – Reopening of the ‘Pop Up’ Fruit and Veg Stall. Try and buy seasonal vegetables grown by the local community at the Phoenix School Farm. Homemade soup will be available. The will be open every Tuesday.
Thursday March 5th 6pm Film Show ‘Project Wild Thing’ in the Phoenix High School Theatre. Booking required. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call Katie on 07890514050 or call into White City Community Centre and leave your name and contact details with Emma.
Saturday 21st March 10am -2pm. – Big Local ‘Big Dig’ Event. Come and help your local community garden get ready for the new growing season. There will be lots of growing activities to try; seed sowing, preparing the ground, harvesting and tasting seasonal produce. Taste our homemade soup. All welcome, just turn up!
Saturday April 18th 10am-2pm – Introduction to Beekeeping Course. Come and learn about what’s involved in keeping honey bees and have a look inside a working hive (weather permitting). To book a place contact Liz on 07535 507557.
Thursday 23rd April. 4pm -7pm, Restart of the ‘Twilight’ Farm Sessions. These sessions will run every Thursday evening until the end of September 2015. The sessions are ‘drop in’ and our open to volunteers to work on the farm combined with activities for children and families.
Saturday 25th April, 10am-2pm, Monthly Saturday Farm sessions. The sessions are ‘drop in’ and are open to volunteers to work on the farm combined with activities for children and families. Sessions will run on the last Saturday of each month until October, and each session will have a different theme, based around growing cooking and eating. Details TBC.
Our thanks go to the Salt Yard Group for their continuing support, of our community based programmes.
Written by Cath Knight –Community Food Grower Catherine_knight@phoenix.lbhf.sch.uk