Carnaun School Organic Diary 2006

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Organic Matters Maganize

Our school grounds never looked better than it did when we came back in September after the summer holidays.

For the first few days we feasted on the lovely juicy blackberries which grew in abundance along the schoolyard boundaries. The small children had great fun hiding in the long grass of the wildflower meadow or running along the grassy paths through the woodland and shrubberies to the pond at the bottom of the playground. One afternoon the buddleia was covered with butterflies much to the delight of all the children.

Then came the rain and we did not get a chance to harvest our crops until the end of the month. However, this was our best year in a long time. The garden was weed free thanks to a few people who visited during the long hot summer. Lucky people, they had lovely spring onions, lettuce and spinach during the holidays. Sadly, our favourite, the peas were also gone but the beans, cabbage, turnips, beetroot and cabbage were excellent. The carrots, eaten raw, only lasted minutes while everyone had a container of either broad, dwarf, french or the very colourful runner beans home with them for the dinner.

Because of the very fine summer the pumpkin crop was not very good so we will not have one each for Halloween. We were also disappointed with the potatoes as the worm had ruined most of them. Thankfully the ‘black bog’ and the ‘romano’ varieties survived and we will have some seed to share next year with our friends. The brussels sprouts had been damaged a bit by the caterpillars but we are not worried as we like the butterfly and know that it “has its role to play in the balance of nature”.

Today our teacher brought us some lovely, ripe juicy organic pears. They tasted so delicious and while we were eating them Aoife quoted some lines from one of her favourite poems “Rich Days” by W. H. Davies:

 ‘… with mellow pears that cheat our teeth,

Which melt that tongues may suck them in …”

And then all the class sang out lines from ‘To Autumn” by John Keats:

“Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run.

To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,

Arid fill all fruit with ripeness to the core,

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more

And still more later flowers for the bees…”

And that describes our “Rich Autumn Days” in Carnaun School.

Aoife Maguire, Conor Cooley, Natasha Daly and Emma Rabbitte, 6th. Class, Carnaun School.

We have a vegetable garden in our school for many years and it has been a very rewarding and enjoyable project both for teacher and pupil. It has its role in SESE, Social, Environmental and Scientific Education, in our New Curriculum and is so easily integrated with all the curriculum subjects.

Like so many other schools we have been awarded the International Green Flag for our work towards an ecologically sustainable culture. We started our project with waste management, recycling and composting so it was a natural progression to apply for the Organic Symbol as care of the soil through adding compost and refraining from any harmful fertilisers, chemicals and pesticides is a major condition for the Organic Licence. The Organic accreditation is, in my mind, just as valuable to schools as the Green Flag. l would like to see the Organic Symbol being promoted as actively as the Green Flag is by An Taisce and our County Councils.

National Organic Week organised by The Organic Market Development Group with An Bord Bia runs this year from November 6th to 12th. We will have our school grounds open to small groups of visitors by appointment during the week. Come and visit and see for yourselves why “Organic” is such an important, valuable and rewarding “way of life” for us.

Finbarr O’Regan, Principal Teacher

Editor’s note: This article was, the first of many written in Carnaun School, Athenry, from 2006 onwards, for IOFGA’s Organic Matters Magazine, Editor Cáit Curran!

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About this record

Written by 5th and 6th Classes, Carnaun School, 1990

Published here 15 Feb 2024 and originally published 2006

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