Plants and paths lead­ing to Malawi

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile - by Mike Ben­nett mben­nett@thek­m­group.co.uk

VIS­I­TORS to Pluck­ley church­yard glanc­ing over the an­cient flint bound­ary wall have been in­trigued. The plot of fal­low land be­tween Sta­tion Road and the Or­chards is slowly be­ing cleared of weeds and raised beds are start­ing to ap­pear. This is not an­other mys­tery ap­pari­tion in the area famed as the most haunted in Bri­tain but a part­ner­ship de­signed to reach across the gen­er­a­tions and oceans.

Veg­eta­bles

It is the vi­sion of mem­bers of the vil­lage gar­den­ing so­ci­ety that have linked with teach­ers from Pluck­ley pri­mary school. Soon path­ways will be sown with grass seed and the beds planted up with flow­ers and veg­eta­bles. By mid sum­mer, with fair weather, they ex­pect the area will be a riot of colour, sup­ply­ing good crops of pro­duce. All is be­ing made pos­si­ble by gen­er­ous sup­port­ers in­clud­ing the High­wood fam­ily who have pro­vided fenc­ing, Trevor Heath­cote who sup­plied the fill­ing of the raised beds, and Com­mu­nity Pay­back that pro­vided the mus­cle to clear the site. The fi­nal piece of the jig­saw came from friends and neigh­bours who sup­ported a quiz night to raise £300 for the ven­ture. Now teach­ers will be able to use the out­door space for lessons in ge­og­ra­phy, the en­vi­ron­ment, sci­ence and nat­u­ral his­tory, and pupils will en­joy the fresh air and sur­round­ings as they grow and har­vest their own crops. The gar­den­ing club mem­bers will have the plea­sure of pass­ing on their ex­per­tise to the next gen­er­a­tion.

Twinned

The good news will also be wing­ing its way across the world to Chikawawa. This is a school in Malawi that is twinned with Pluck­ley, and chil­dren on both con­ti­nents are be­ing en­cour­aged to share a writ­ten and vis­ual di­ary of the crops they grow and eat in a prac­ti­cal way of widen­ing their hori­zons.

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