Home in Bridport (Home) and Transition Town Bridport (TTB), who work with edible gardens, have, for several years had a dream of joining up different local schools, and especially within the Minerva Learning Trust

During the last year there has been much collaboration and exchange between two of these schools. The Edible Garden 1 at St. Mary’s has had great success at the Mini Food Festival in June; especially the Citizen’s Science experiment of ‘Soiling your undies’ which was also displayed at the Food Festival in Asker’s Meadow.

Edible Garden 2 at Bridport Primary School (BPS) began in 2022, with the generous support of the Town Council, Bridport Rotary Club, Coop community fund and Wessex Water environmental fund. BPS is in it’s infancy, but much work has been done by Viv Kendrew, the volunteer co-ordinator, and her team. She has not only helped tame the rampant wild part but has had great success in the newly skinned polytunnel. A brilliant group of keen and knowledgeable students from the Gardening Club set about preparing raw earth and turning it into reasonable soil for growing food. Under the extreme heat conditions of July, they kept going and now the harvesting of fruit and veg begins.

More recently Sir John Colfox school has been in the news since the gardening group has managed to obtain permission for a growing space near an old disused greenhouse in the school grounds. Students have sourced some wood and in the woodwork class had made into raised beds.

You may have read on social media about how they have then reached a dead end as there is no funding for developing this and they need soil for the beds, pots etc to start growing their own fruit and vegetables. Recently we heard from Juliet Hicks a teacher at Colfox. She has finally been given a large greenhouse to replace the derelict one. Home has been able to help her with some money and possibly other funds for a new waterproof, lockable shed. So things are looking up in the school.

Furthermore we now have close connections with the thriving Home Community Orchard in Skilling. Home’s Community Allotment is coming to life as well and working on improving the soil for planting this Autumn and Spring.

Home and TTB wish to develop this collaboration and support, of mainly volunteers, who are not only educating our next generation in organic horticulture but also tackling Food Poverty. We are looking at how these schools can work together in partnership.

Sarah Wilberforce