Chapter 1 – What are some of the initial considerations when setting up a garden?
Think about your space
Your garden could be a big open space or you could be growing herbs in a window box. Whatever approach you take, you will need to plan your space. Don’t be put off if you only have a small space. There are many ways to grow with little or no space, whether you use hanging/wall mounted containers or pots and grow bags, you can grow something almost anywhere. When designing vegetable beds and raised beds, consider how accessible they are. Small children may not be able to reach the middle of a large raised bed, so design your beds in a way in which all of the seedlings can be reached easily
Think about your budget
When you consider the valuable learning and positive health outcomes associated with gardening, you may consider your gardening resources to be just as important as all other resources you buy in your setting e.g. paint and paper .Because finance can be an issue for everyone, you may need to come up with some creative ways of raising money:
- Speak to everyone you know to see if they have any unwanted in items in the garden shed which they can donate to your project.
- Ask parents / carrers to think about the garden space when they next go to the garden centre (or supermarket); asking them to bring in one item to keep the resources stocked e.g. carrot seeds; lettuce seeds; bag of compost etc.
- Organize fundraising activities to raise money to get you started. Once you are established you could look at selling then sell your produce once it’s harvested. Any proceeds can then be reinvested into the garden,
Think about your volunteers
Managing a garden, alongside your everyday duties, can be a demanding task. Working in a kindergarten means that you have potentially got a large bank of potential helpers in the form of parents. There may very well be some very keen gardeners within your local community. Parents, grandparents and other extended family members may be able to help on a regular or one a off basis. Before you even start, let the parents know your plans and get together a list of people who may be willing to help with the set-up and ongoing management of the garden. Getting support and advice from others can be the best resource of all for your setting as well as offering children wider community experiences. Even if there is little previous experience or knowledge, anyone can be involved and you can learn together. When starting out, make sure you plan how to recruit and use your adults well. They will be an invaluable resource to your project!