Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Cleaning up and garden treasure

The garden is often a mess after the summer and needs a good clear out. This is generally a popular job. The greenhouse at St John's gets completely overgrown with plants that have finished growing for the year, including a very prolific grape vine. I've no idea what the hat was all about.

And there's often hidden treasure lurking underground. No matter how hard you try to pick things in July, you always miss something. Which then is a bit of treasure for the autumn garden clean up crew.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Returning to giant sunflowers

There are often surprises in the garden waiting when you get back to school in September. You never know what's going to greet you in the garden. These huge sunflowers had grown well over the summer at Heald Place. 

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Safe cooking with children

I've been helping children learn how to cook simple, healthy foods in after school cooking clubs. One thing that crops up is helping children develop skills in using kitchen implements safely and effectively. 

One thing I've learnt is that using proper equipment is much safer than equipment that is "for children".  A good, sharp kitchen knife is better than a blunt "safer" one as children can cut without straining and pressing hard which is much more likely to lead to slips and cuts. I've found that children seem happier using a knife with a serrated edge as this gives a better grip when cutting. 

Having effective ways of explaining something is at the heart of helping people to learn new things. I found "the claw" and "the bridge" good ways to explain how to cut safely. The picture is a great example of "the claw" with the fingers holding the tomato well away from the blade. 

"The bridge" involves holding something between thumb and forefinger to make a bridge and the knife cutting down between them. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Huge parsnips

Now I like a good roasted parsnip at Christmas but you can leave them in the ground a bit longer. 

We pulled these beauties out in March, after a titanic struggle.