July 22

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Time for some market testing

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I don’t know anything about gardening or children. So putting together a schools programme about growing vegetables is proving to be very interesting.

Given that we are about to ask potentially thousands of children to grow some vegetable plants for us, I decided that I needed to have a go at growing some vegetables first, to see if I could manage to do it. I also wanted to gauge what age the activity would be suitable for, so I borrowed some children for the afternoon. Theo (aged 7) and Heidi (aged 3) are my niece and nephew and were my willing helpers. I know that it’s not really the right time of year to grow vegetables but we just wanted to prove that we could get the seeds to germinate so thought this would be ok.

We had a lot of fun. As you can see in the photos, we tried to grow runner beans, broad beans and winter pansies. Theo and Heidi took charge and in no time at all we had all of the bean seeds planted. The winter pansies were a bit of a struggle because the seeds were so small; I’ll have to think carefully about the size of the seeds when deciding on the seeds to go in our grow packs, and keep the smaller seeds for the older children. Based on this small experiment, it seems like older nursery children could certainly take part without too many problems. Can any parents of small children comment on this? Do you agree?blog 3 photo 8

The winter pansies haven’t germinated so I’ll have to re-think those but 2 weeks later, we have some very small bean plants – success!