Small allotments, big ideas

Trinity Academy Gardening club is a result of the collaboration between Trinity Academy and the University of Edinburgh, represented by Gergana Daskalova. Creating and maintaining the club with joy and enthusiasm is the main goal of Gergana’s Geosciences Outreach project, called ‘Gardening with a mission’.

‘Gardening with a mission’ aims to teach pupils how to grow fruits and vegetables, to value farming and land resources, and to find joy and solace in the wonders of the natural world. Furthermore, it strengthens community links by creating bonds between pupils, local gardeners, and organic farmers.

Topics and activities

A gardening club is a wonderful opportunity to achieve interdisciplinary learning. Trinity Academy Gardening Club is designed in a way to complement and enrich the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. The club has a flexible schedule to accommodate the unpredictable Edinburgh weather. Rainy days are brightened up with exciting indoor presentations, activities and discussions. Fair weather gives us the opportunity to put all the knowledge we learned indoors in practice, as we start preparing our allotment for the new growing season.

For us, gardening is not simply a way to grow food and meet a basic human need for nutrition. We see gardening as a way to learn more about the natural world, to discuss the impacts of modern agriculture on the environment, to be creative, to create bonds between teachers, pupils and members of the local community.

We talk about gardens as a source of inspiration, and as a safe haven for urban wildlife. In our weekly meetings, we acquire new knowledge, form and share opinions, participate in quizzes and games, and learn how to set goals and work towards achieving them. Our discussions revolve around topics such as:

1. Why do people garden and what are the associated benefits?
2. How do we design a garden and what is complementary planting?
3. What pests and diseases might cause trouble and what are the solutions?
4. What are the environmental impacts of intensive agriculture and what is wildlife-
friendly farming?
5. How can we use gardens to build stronger and more environmentally consicious communities?