Carnaun School Organic Garden Diary Aug 2005

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Paul, Arron, Mico and Sarah O’Regan planting Pumpkins

In mid May the seeds we had planted in our friend’s polythene tunnel were  ready to plant out but the weather was bad and we were busy planning a trip to Paris.

We had planned to go on the 19th of May and on the 17th the weather was really fine and the soil was good and dry. We had dug it over in April but because of the bad weather it needed to be cultivated again. Our organic advisor brought a mechanical garden rotavator which got the soil ready for planting in no time at all.

Every year we keep a record of our rotation in the garden and move the different plant families to a new plot.

Garden plan 2004

Plot 1 –  Legumes

Plot 2 – Potatoes

Plot 3 –  Brassica

Plot 4 – Roots

Garden plan 2005

Plot 1 – Brassica, Broccoli, Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage

Plot 2 – Legumes, Peas, Beans

Plot 3 –  Roots, Spinach,  Scallions, Beetroot, Sweet corn

Plot 4 –  Potatoes

David and Róisín plant Red Cabbage

The rotation of crops is very important! For example: Legumes (peas or beans) fertilise the soil because tiny organisms in the soil form little sacks on their roots and they can take nitrogen from the air. On the other hand, potatoes need lots of manure and that is why we put in plenty of homemade compost when we sowed them. We decided this year to make ridges for all the plants as they are easier to get at for weeding.

Everyone in the senior classes gave a hand at making the ridges, barrowing in the compost from our new bins, raking off the larger stones and measuring the spaces for the ridges. Then, we all took turns at sowing and planting. Everything got a good soaking of water to give them a good start.

June

We had a wonderful holiday in Paris with our teacher and when we came back we noticed a great improvement in the garden — the cabbage plants had “taken” and were standing upright and there was a lovely green colour all over the garden.

After a few stormy days we got a chance to plant out the pumpkins on a good hotbed of compost.

The lawns needed to be cut so out came the lawn mowers and it was not long until we had two bays of the new compost bins full of sweet-smelling grass. We noticed that the cuttings heated and with the thermometer attached to the laptop we found that it was about 65 degrees Celsius the next day. When it cooled, after a week, we turned it over and added a few forks of compost and worms (small red worms) so that we will have lots of good compost for next year.

There was lots to do — the weeds grew fast with the rain and the warm weather so we took it in turns to do a little gardening every day.

Michael and Gerry at the new compost bins

This is our last year in Carnaun School. We are delighted that the school grounds look very good this year and we are proud of the good work we have done. Every day some visitors come and we take it in turns to show them around our School Heritage Trail.

Before we leave at the end of the month we will plant a tree — a Mountain Ash – in memory of the time we spent in Carnaun School. There is an old proverb – “He who plants a tree will never die.”

Gerry Qualter, Mico V. Mozo, Conor Feeney, 6th Class Carnaun School

Editor’s note: This article was, one 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 Carnaun School Children 2005

Published here 16 Feb 2024 and originally published August 2005

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