Fifth Trust News


Project pumpkin

23 June 2023

We were delighted to welcome Ripplevale School to our Barham Skills Centre earlier this week to work on the special project pumpkin!

Ripplevale is an independent specialist school supporting students who have been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. They operate three campuses in Broadstairs, Deal and Rochester for students aged 6-21+.

From 19-20 June horticulture instructors Laurance Jordan and Tom German and cover instructor Justin Lucock worked with staff and students of Ripplevale to prepare our allotments.

“The plan is to grow a small quantity of pumpkins and courgettes ready for autumn harvest,” said Laurence. “We will get a lot of use out of these from teaching students valuable horticulture lessons on growing and harvesting, to making delicious pumpkin soup, to selling our produce in the Vineyard Garden Centre for our supporters to enjoy.”

Students from Ripplevale were given a site induction and a tour of our polytunnels and vegetable patches. Under close supervision, each student was given a tool (choice of spade, hoe, fork or cultivator) and set about de-weeding the allotments in preparation for pumpkin planting.

Care & operations manager Mike Theoff said: “It was great to see Ripplevale working as part of a team with our students. They were able to interact with new people, work away from school, and learn new skills with the benefit of the healthy fresh air – even through some dodgy morning weather!

“It is a pleasure to be working together with a similar organisation. We learn a lot as we share our knowledge, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Ripplevale in the future.”

You can learn more about Ripplevale School here.

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