Growing in the Community
At Cambo First School we believe that there are many health and educational benefits to growing your own food for school meals and snacks in our school garden. It is fresh, delicious, local, and our children are more likely to taste new/different things if they have grown it themselves.
Cambo First School manage their growing areas organically so no harmful solutions or additives have been used. [A conversation with the garden group lead i.e. SNAG group, should be enough to establish this.]
Some people may be concerned about ‘wildlife’ such as slugs, aphids, and fungal diseases. We believe It is important to educate staff, parents, children and the community about these and provide information on the food safety management procedures that are in place to avoid these contaminating foods.
As for more specific land contamination issues it is fairly safe to say that Cambo First School has not, and no school should have been, built on land that has any evidence or record of land contamination.
I am so pleased to say that we have hens at Cambo once more! We have 6 new ladies, and very different and pretty they are too! These hens were kindly donated via Northumbria Police, or rather a Northumbria Police Person! We are eternally grateful. The ladies are now laying and I have to say we have such a variety of colours in our eggs! Dawn in the kitchen is loving them!
We lifted the last of our potatoes and onions in September and used them in our school lunches.
Many thanks to Geoff and all of the people who help or donate vegetables and fruit etc. [our freezer is now full of apples and plums!
Where has the time gone. I am sad to say that the pigs have now gone to slaughter and will be butchered and back in school for the Autumn term and school meals. Sadly we have not had any eggs this term as our hens were all killed by two terriers in June who managed to get into our hen coup. It was a very sad day and unfortunately we have no idea where the dogs came from. Needless to say staff, children and the community were shocked and upset. Geoff our resident gardener continues to develop our allotment. The children worked with Geoff to plant the vegetables and we are looking forward to a good harvest in September. The poly tunnel is once again supporting our school meals with cucumbers, courgettes and lettuce. Hopefully we will have tomatoes, peppers and aubergines soon! [weather and sun permitting!]
Well our new pigs arrived this month along with our new hens. They have been sorely missed at Cambo! Thankfully all were donated! The hens via Johnny Ballantine and the pigs via the Rising Sun Country Park. All have settled in well and are enjoying the 5 star accommodation and care at Cambo! In March we are also celebrating English Spring Lamb. Simon Bainbridge a local organic farmer is keen to publicise the eating of lamb. As part of this initiative he has donated a whole lamb to Cambo. Thus on the 24th March we are going to be having a very special shepherds pie for lunch cooked via our fabulous school Cook Dawn Lewins. We will also be promoting English Spring lamb in the community with a lovely community lunch in April. The weather is much improved at present but it is still a little early to be planting our organic vegetables but fingers crossed we will be having a gardening day soon to get our seeds sown and our plants planted so that we can enjoy them in the summer months for school lunch.
April 23rd 15
Many thanks to everyone for making our Gardening Day such a success. There was so much to do! weeding the garden, planting the bulbs and potatoes, , cleaning the poly tunnel, emptying the containers and putting new compost in to make our tomatoes grow better, cleaning the pond [finding lovely newts! and frogs- a first for us] sweeping the grounds, painting fences and lots lots more. Our reward? Dawn made us a fantastic piggy lunch [the last of our pigs from 2014!] with a lovely home made apple crumble and custard using our own eggs and Mrs. Pattersons apples from autumn 14. What a day! Photos to follow!
Well our new pigs arrived and wow! so pink! but what a hard job we had to find them! female pigs, and we must have female pigs, are just so elusive! But the children have been feeding and watering them and they are already beginning to grow! They also love a bit of a sunbathe so fingers crossed the good weather continues!
How quick they grow, we went away for the Easter holidays and came back to two much bigger pigs. Well done everyone on the feeding rota you are doing a sterling job and our lovely ladies in the pig ark and the hen coop are really benefitting from your care! They have also very much found their characters too! and are very playful, constantly chasing each other and frolicking in the water hole! muddy was the order of the day on Gardening day where the temperature was 23 degrees!
Our Food project has been ongoing for many years. We tend to add a bit at a time! However all development is linked to the school community. At present we are trying to develop organic produce on site thus eliminating or diminishing our carbon footprint. We are also lengthening the growing season, growing a larger variety of plants for vegetables and fruit, and a larger number via the school garden, allotment and poly tunnel. We all have an integral part to play in developing the garden e.g .children, staff and community. It is used as part of the curriculum and as free choice. We also have open days for support for the garden. We have a SNAG group in school who lead on developments, and this is chaired via Mrs. Isobel Anderson [TA] in school
As part of our ongoing project we have developed livestock initiativies on the school site. We currently have our own hens and pigs. Hens for eggs and pigs for meat. The children look after and feed the livestock. It is a paying project e.g. it has too break even or make money. We use the meat and eggs in our school lunches. Both are good quality and organic.
Information regarding school meals
On the news last night schools were mentioned in the ‘HORSE MEAT’ saga! E.g. schools should be aware of the food they are serving and what it contains. I would like to reassure you that we do know what we are serving. At Cambo all meals are made freshly prepared, we serve no processed food at all. With reference to our meat I can tell you with my hand on my heart that all of our meat is provided via Rothbury Butchers.
All of our meat is traceable to british suppliers e.g. Thompson Whitton Le Wear. The animals are all Northumbrian bred and reared. All documentation can be provided. All parents can go to Rothbury Butchers if they are concerned and details will be provided.I hope this reassures you that we do not serve horsemeat at Cambo, nor processed foods…. We are a flagship food for life school therefore we cannot serve any of the latter. Mind if anyone fancies a bit of horse they tell me that a well known supermarket or two can provide it! I’ve probably eaten a bit of it myself and not known HMMMM!