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We are thrilled to be the recipients of the Best Childrens Garden prize and a Certificate for Excellence in Contribution to the Community in the 2016 Tower Hamlets in Bloom competition.

Well done to all of our green fingered children and young people including students from Cubitt Town School, George Greens School, The Phoenix School, St. Paul’s Way Trust and Blue Gate Fields, as well as Stephen and his support worker, for his care and attention to keep everything watered.

Our children’s/young people growing project is an educational tool here on the farm, covering cross curricula topics. Students take part 40 weeks of the year. All the above are able to harvest and cook their produce, including making green tomato salsa. Nothing goes to waste!

Tower Hamlets in Bloom has recognised the dedication and hard work by all of the participating groups and the Mudchute education staff team. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating all the participants!


Growing in beds, our polytunnel and greenhouse.

Growing in beds, our polytunnel and greenhouse.

The raised beds near Pets Corner are looking fantastic and our new polytunnel is up, planted and already producing! The students’ efforts are certainly paying off as lots of lovely fruits and vegetables are rapidly ripening. Here are a few photos from our look around the Childrens’ Growing Project with our head of Education, Denise. Well done to all of the green-fingered students from George Green’s School, Cubitt Town Infants School Bluegate Field Junior School, St. Paul’s Way Trust School and Phoenix School!

Brussel sprouts and marrows.

Brussel sprouts and marrows.

A look inside our greenhouse.

A look inside our greenhouse.

Potatoes and courgettes in flower.

Potatoes and courgettes in flower.

Trays full of new seedlings.

Trays full of new seedlings.

Thew newly planted polytunnel.

Thew newly planted polytunnel.

Ripening tomatoes and raspberries.

Ripening tomatoes and raspberries.


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Thursday saw the planting of our very own community orchard! With the help of the London Orchard Project, volunteers, staff and students from the local George Green’s School and Cubitt Town Infants School, we planted apple, pear and plum trees, forming an orchard in the Maze Field located between the Playing Field and Forest School. It was a fantastic day only made possible by your help, thank you to all who joined us!

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Planting our first apple tree!

Planting our first apple tree!

The morning began with a visit from George Green’s School. Staff and students got stuck in helping to unload our materials for the day, including plenty of forks, shovels and spades.

Lewis McNeill of the London Orchard Project helped us identify the best sites for our trees and demonstrated how to prepare the soil to give them the best possible start on the farm. By making sure they are planted properly, we can ensure that they will be able to put their roots out and begin to establish themselves here at Mudchute when they wake up from their winter dormancy . This includes planting the trees at the right depth, loosening the surrounding soil, decreasing competition from weeds and surrounding trees, and giving them a boost with the help of symbiotic fungi. Demonstrating with help from the students, he helped us plant the first apple tree of the orchard.

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We then broke into groups to take on the heavy digging work. While digging, we uncovered earthworms of all shapes and sizes as well as the larvae of several beetle species (a rare glimpse into our subterranean ecosystem!). Once the sites were prepared, it was time for the trees!

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IMG_1501Before planting, we dipped the roots of our new trees in a wallpaper-paste-like bath of fungal spores, which will help the new trees extract nutrients from the soil. Once the trees had been dipped, the students carefully lowered the trees into their carefully prepared planting sites and began replacing the displaced soil. They then surrounded the base of the trees with dampened cardboard to help suppress weed growth, and a protective top layer of woodchip and mulch.

To protect the trees from our grazing animals, we then added tree guards made of fenceposts and wire. These will keep the trees safe from nibbling while they are young. The process was quite similar to putting in fencing, a very common chore around the farm! However, with the tall height of the posts, hard hats were required.

Students from Cubitt Town learning about blossoms.

Students from Cubitt Town learning about blossoms.

IMG_1518After a brief break for lunch, Cubitt Town Infants School came to see our morning’s work, find out more about trees and help us plant an apple tree in the playing field. The students loved finding worms and other creatures in the soil and did a fantastic job preparing the ground for our new tree, taking turns and digging expertly. The whole class helped firm in the soil and spread its surrounding bedding of woodchip. We finished planting the tree just as a storm rolled in. As we packed up our tools, the rain began, watering in our new trees!

An enormous thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who assisted on the project, the London Orchard Project, and the students and teachers from George Green’s School and Cubitt Town Infants School for all their hard work. We look forward to nurturing our new fruit trees with your help and watching them grow and develop over the years to come!

You can find more photos from our planting day below!