Touch of the 'Good Life' at Wexford schools
it's said that mighty oaks grow from little acorns, well that could certainly be the case at three south Wexford national schools where members of a horticultural committee have taught students how to raise mighty vegetables from tiny seeds.
And while vegetable growing is not yet on the official national curriculum it still formed an integral part of the children's education in Castlebridge, Screen and Curracloe National schools.
To increase awareness of vegetable growing among young people, members of the Castlebridge Horticultural Show committee assisted the pupils to grow a range of vegetables from seeds as part of the show's 75th anniversary.
As the school year draws to a close the success of work was every much in evidence as the show committee recently visited the schools to witness the fruits of the children's labour.
What they found was a large range of healthy vegetables which the students had grown after learning the skills and challenges of growing from seeds.
At Castlebridge, student Emma O'Shea spoke of the importance of giving just the riggt amount of water - not too much and not too little, while Marta Mastek said she had learned that you have to look after the plants each and every day. Kailen Parker could now identify all the vegetables he had grown and Aimee Redmond Castlebridge said she got all her gardening skills from her grandfather, the famed Castlebridge gardener Mick Redmond and this had helped the whole group.
Watering was an issue in Curracloe where Keelan Angood warned of the dangers of not watering in dry weather, while young Sean Moran was surprised that the vegetables grew to different heights and some faster than others. Shauna Sammer said she already grew vegetables and flowers at home and highlighted how the weather can affect their growth.
In Screen, where the children are already active in vegetable growing; Niamh Hearne said the school garden had potatoes, sweetcorn, garlic and onions and the show committee members were pleased to be greeted with a plate of freshly cooked potatoes from the school's garden.
Not that Chloe Whelan or Shane Kelly had any difficulty in that area as their grandfather Sean T Kelly from Ballyruan has been sowing and selling potatoes for over 50 years. In Screen, Ryan Doyle learned the importance of good composting in getting good growth. The schools' vegetable boxes will be in display at the annual Castlebridge Show on August 9.