Ding dong, the community group I volunteer at, has got some dosh to pay for a Young Operation Farmers’ Project.
This will give me the chance to start my wildlife gardening group, that I’ve been talking about for ages; I’m WELL excited!
What is Operation Farm?
I was 4, when my Mum and some friends started a community gardening and cooking project, called Operation Farm. It has a community allotment, orchard, a veg ‘n’ seed swap scheme, cookery workshops and they also run large community food events in public parks. They have over 50 adult volunteers and 40 Young Operation Farmers and I’m one of ’em!
Our new project is going to follow the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s, ‘I Can Grow’ scheme, which,
‘encourages young people to discover the benefits of gardening, by taking positive action and making small changes in the local community’
This is all about
- How gardening helps our changing climate
- How gardening benefits wildlife
- How gardening can put food on your plate
- How gardening can make you keep you fit and feel happy inside
Community gardening groups are great for us kids, they help us build confidence and we learn new life skills. For me, the best thing about Operation Farm is the friendships you make, there’s always new experiences to have and you meet all types of different, interesting people.
Events and activities
There’s lots of activities planned, for summer in to autumn:
- In July – we will have our first meeting and plan what we want to do as a group over the next 12 months. I’m going to lead the wildlife gardening session and look at how we can make it work together
- In August – we are going out into the local park, with the professional photographer, Jen Hobday from PhotoJenic. She will show us how to use our camera (DSLR or point n shoot) to take photographs of plants, flowers, wildlife and people, so we can tell a story on social media, over this coming year. We will also meet up for an evening stroll in a nature hotspot. I’ve already researched Binn Green near Dovestones
- In September – we will be picking fruit trees, then pressing and making ‘Apple Mint Spritzers’ at Mossley Horticulture Show
- In October – there will be the Soup Share Event, where we make soup for 100’s of people to scoff – that’s always an epic job!
If you live in Tameside and aged 9-14 and would to get involved in this kind of thing, then message me below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who don’t live near me, but want to help, if you have anything to donate that we could use – seeds, equipment, compost – all donations are most welcome – again message me below.
In other news…
Olivia Day emailed me about her daughter, Cassie, they had found my website while searching for gardening tips. Cassie had applied to be a volunteer at a summer camp for inner city kids. As part of the application she had to write an essay on her favourite activities/hobbies and how she could teach others. They have a home garden and Cassie gets involved in helping it grow, so she thought gardening would be a great topic. Cassie found my website and Angie’s List and referenced both in her report.
Cassie has heard back that she’s been successful with her application, which is fab and I hope she has a great summer camp!
Ian Dunn contacted me via twitter, he has started a campaign called vegschoolmeals, all about how veg growing should be on the curriculum and how most schools already have lots of space for growing food. Check out his site for more info, there’s a petition too.
I was well chuffed to write an article in the teen e-magazine, iGen21, all about wildlife gardening. I’m on pages 46-49. There’s loads of other interesting stories too, written by young people. Groovy!
Keep in touch with any ideas and suggestions guys!