Students at Tintern have chosen a range of activities for their skill section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award program. Gemma Bettess and Sophie Cookes of Year 9 are currently undertaking their Bronze award and they have chosen to establish vegetable gardens:
For my Duke of Ed award this year, I chose to grow my own vegetable garden. So far it is going pretty well and I can see a lot of progress. I have been going for about 9 weeks now, and it’s amazing to see how fast everything grows.
Before actually beginning with my garden, I had to do a bit of research. I found out which plants grew best in specific conditions and seasons and I discovered heaps of different designs of gardens. Then we went shopping and actually bought all of the plants and equipment that we needed. My mum helped me build the fence surrounding the garden, and then she showed me how to plant all the different vegetables and herbs. Since then, I have been watering, weeding and building stairs that lead up to the vegetable garden.
I chose to grow my own vegetable garden because I liked the idea of producing actual vegetables after growing them. It’s great to have an end product, and then you can cook with the fresh vegetables or give them to friends and family. I also really enjoyed the whole process of building the garden and seeing all of the herbs and vegetables grow.
I will definitely continue with the garden in the future, even after Duke of Ed. I am really enjoying it and I hope to grow even more new and exciting things.
by Sophie Cookes, Year 9
As part of my Duke of Edinburgh award, I decided to undertake a gardening project as I had never done anything like it outside of school. I also felt that it will be a handy skill to have in the future.
In the beginning, I planted a garden bed with herbs, vegetables, and companion plants, in a recycled pallet. I fed the soil with additional nutrients and plant food to help the herbs and vegetables grow. As a new skill, I decided to start with a variety of vegetables to learn what works well and what doesn’t. This variety included parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, mint, lettuce, chives and spring onions. I have watered the plants and weeded the garden bed – although maybe not as much as I should have! The herbs and vegetables are growing, and we have already used some broccoli, chives, mint and parsley.
I am learning that the garden bed needs regular care and attention, that the weather affects the progress of each plant differently and that when done properly, gardening can create some great results.
by Gemma Bettess, Year 9