Spring for me is a time to think about new new life and all the lovely bulbs that start to come up out of the ground to welcome in warmer weather and a change in seasons. The mystery of a plant that is all packed into a tiny seed and with the potential to grow into something lovely or even quite tasty to eat. With Easter coming up it a time to reflect on the changing seasons and think about sewing some new things whether it be actual seeds or new thoughts and ideas to put out there.
In the classroom at school, we are currently growing lettuce for a plant topic. During the lockdown the key worker children sowed the seeds in eco-friendly egg boxes and we looked after them in their classroom, making a diary of how they were growing, measuring the seedlings and writing observations. Now all the rest of the children have returned back to in-person learning, we have taken the seedlings and planted them outside in guttering. The children were asking if we can strawberries next and I did think about it and want to make sure we are listening to their ideas too. You can successfully plant strawberries in the drainpipes too but there is a bit of a risk that the fruit wont be quite ripe before the end of the summer which would be a shame for the children not to be able to eat their grown produce. Instead I put together a little kit for the children in the class as a little take home gift for Easter to grow at home and enjoy.
This little idea for growing plants was developed from seeing other things growing in jute bags on the window sill. It is back to the core of what I think encompasses what ‘little Eco Gifts’ is about. Little gifts that spark ideas and don’t cost the earth. Each little kit cost less than £1 to put together without using any plastic that gets thrown out after single use.
The kit contains:
- A biodegradable cotton bag
- Packet of Alpine Strawberries seeds
- A non- plastic liner
- 2 little soil discs
- Instructions stapled on the front of the bag
The strawberries are a special low growing small variety of Alpine strawberries that are idea of window sill. The don’t run like other plants and produce little berries. They should be quite contained within the bag but can be planted outside if they get too big. They do take a while to germinate so it is also a test of patience too!
The cellulose bags were reused from a Christmas gift. They are treat bags from the Bag and box man that fold out at the sides to make the bottom shape. Made from compostable and biodegradable cellulose, they bags are a brilliant alternative to the usual plastic wrap. It isn’t as cheap at the plastic alternative but depends on if being eco is the a factor in what you are doing. You can also buy it on a roll from florists as it can be used as an eco alternative for wrapping flowers.
For the soil I included 2 little compressed compost discs from Willow and Wild Organic . I am always amazed by how such a little disc expands with only a few tablespoons of warm water. They are nutrient rich without the use of anything artificial. They are super easy and means that the chidden have all they need to get started.