Monday, 11 November 2019

Interact group plant crocus bulbs for Rotary End Polio campaign

The polytunnel was full of activity on Friday 8th November.  Hilary Gordon came in from Ellon Rotary to work with the Interacti group planting crocus bulbs.
It is part of their End Polio campaign.
As well as being for a good cause, they always brighten up the garden in spring.  We will welcome the group back then to see them in full bloom :)
In other news, pupils are busy weeding, mulching and covering beds for the winter this year.
Harvesting too...
...produce boxes are selling well...
Keira enjoyed taking an ornamental (but also highly edible!) cabbage home too.
She and...
...Patrick were also given a green butterfly badge as they have helped with the garden reliably over the years at the lunchtime club.  Keep up the good work you two!

Monday, 28 October 2019

Soup Share event with Ellon Resource Centre

First day back after the October holidays - Monday 28th October - we hosted the Ellon Resource Centre folks for soup, rolls and Rhubarb muffins :)

The soup was school-grown and cooked by pupils - Carrot and Coriander, and Pumpkin.  The muffins also had our very own rhubarb in.
A huge thank you to (retired) Mrs Brown for coming in to do the catering.  S3 pupils helped her whilst others were setting up bowls and plates in the poly-tunnel.
Thanks also to S5 pupils who helped carry equipment and tables out to set up ready for our guests.
Whilst everyone enjoyed the food, Miss Swallow did a little speech and then presented individuals with a certificate to thank them for all their hard work in the garden.  The group help maintain the garden throughout the spring and summer so they have a huge impact!  They were also awarded a Green Butterfly Badge each to wear with pride - these were given to us by the Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum to acknowledge the fantastic garden we now have at the Academy.
Thank you to everyone for coming - see you again in the Spring!

In a spot of other news - during the holiday, we took delivery of a Gazebo for the Memorial Garden area.  Peter Haycock from Trimstyle Decor delivered it in person to us.
We hope the paths will be constructed during November and will then be able to build this structure so things should be looking a lot better by the Spring time when we can hopefully start landscaping and planting!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Garden Awards Ceremony

Front row left to right: Jim McColl from BBC's Beechgrove Garden programme presents S3 pupils Darren Bryce, Jacob Vavangas and Dougal MacIver with their Grow and Learn Roots Award.  
Back row - Ross Watson (S5) was awarded his Silver ASDAN certificate, Collin Stirling representing the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Socitety and Head Teacher Pauline Buchan 

Pupils worked really hard to clear the poly-tunnel classroom of all our paraphernalia! 
They carried chairs across... 
...and set them out for the guests.
Everyone was very excited!
We also tidied the main poly-tunnel tables ready for soup and sandwiches to be served.  Pupils had made the soup with Mrs Adamson and kept it in the freezer - potato and broad bean, carrot and corriander - all from our own produce.  So a huge thank you to the cooking team!
We also laid out folders of work for our Jim and Colin to see.
All the pupils welcomed Jim and Colin at the door and escorted them to the garden area.
They chatted as they walked...
...and gave Jim a full tour of all our planting and composting areas.
They thought the raspberries were delicious!
Once parents and carers arrived, the seniors served soup and sandwiches for all to enjoy.
Dr Richardson's class had a good discussion around trees and climate change...
...then it was time for the ceremony.  Miss Swallow welcomed all those assembled and spoke about the course and a little about seeds!  Mrs Buchan awarded the ASDAN certificate, then Jim McColl gave a talk and awarded the Grow and Learn Certificates.
Each pupil also got a pin badge to wear with pride!
Thank you to all those who came to the ceremony and also to those who help so often behind the scenes - your efforts are much appreciated and make such lovely occasions possible!
💮  😊  💮

Monday, 16 September 2019

Proud to be presented with a Green Butterfly Award

We are all delighted to have been awarded a Green Butterfly from the Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum.  This is an annual award presented to projects that help create a better environment.  It is a fabulous acknowledgement of all the hard work put in by pupils, staff and community volunteers over the last four years.
Three members of staff accompanied two senior and five third year pupils to the event held at the Garioch Education Centre, Inverurie during the evening of Thursday 12th September.  They each had props representing their favourite jobs in the garden.  They did a presentation and we played a slide show illustrating how the garden has developed since we moved to our new site.
They passed the Green Butterfly plaque along the line...
...and we each received a Green Butterfly badge to wear with pride!
Well done everyone!  A huge thank you also goes to all the people who could not be there but have helped enormously in the garden - this is a fantastic team achievement!

Monday, 24 June 2019

Staff BBQ raises £105 for the garden THANK YOU!

Members of staff enjoyed a breezy sunny lunchtime in the garden last week.
Five minutes before the lunch bell, we had a downpour but luckily the sun shone for the whole BBQ event.
It was great to see so many folk enjoying the place...
...and thanks to everyone for helping to raise £105
A huge thank you to Sheila who came out of her recent retirement to do all the cooking!
Also to the S5 boys for getting the place looking tidy.
Having been rained off so many times recently, they really pulled out all the stops to get the grass cut.  They also helped set everything up and pack away so a great team effort.
Finally thanks to local firms for supporting our event with great priced delicious rolls and burgers and also to Jo Russell for the loan of her BBQ and windbreak - a life safer at the last minute!

We hope the money raised will help towards getting the path between the two poly-tunnels paved.  The weather this year is holding things up, but we live in hope of brighter days!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A busy 3 days of Activities

For the last three days of May, we had our WAP - Wider Achievement Programme.  Pupils were involved in a wide range of activities both on-site and away on trips.
The gardening group did some fantastic work.  We were out in the garden when it was dry and in the workshop or poly-tunnel when it rained.

On DAY ONE the shed got treated...
...along with the new mini-shed.
We cut chicken wire...
...stapled it to posts... make a new compost bay.
We started to turn the current compost pile into it.
The whole group also did some great weeding - to clear the raised beds.
They mulched with our home-made compost.
On DAY TWO it poured with rain so we found some designs on the computer...
...and created some "words of wisdom" signs for the garden.
They were painted on wood.
Everyone did a different design.

After watching a "SpringWatch" feature, we decided to go on a nature walk after lunch.  We spotted various beetles, worms, birds and some eggs laid on the underside of a leaf.  Then the sun came out so everyone cracked on with weeding and turning the compost!
DAY THREE was very wet, so everyone got their signs varnished then enjoyed some Mini-beastie Top-Trumps!
Meanwhile, Mr McColl helped with the bench that the S2 boys have been restoring.
Rachel and Cameron helped to mark...
...and drill the last remaining pieces of wood.
Later everyone helped outside... set up the BBQ and kitchen equipment
A huge thank you to Mrs Brown for taking charge of the BBQ
Everyone enjoyed the burgers despite the rain!
After clearing up and washing the dishes (thanks Ryan and Rachel for helping Mrs Brown!) we spent the afternoon in the poly-tunnel.  Folks took turns to play garden games round the table and sow seeds.  Thank you to the group for a great three days - I hope you enjoyed helping to maintain our garden space :)