Artspark Children’s Permaculture Discovery Garden

Artspark is a well established after school/ holidays centre for 5 – 15 year olds where the children learn wonderful creative things like knitting, sewing, and art. More recently Sandrine who owns Artspark approached me about converting the disused and very messy outdoor yard into a functional area.

This opportunity has allowed for the makings of an abundant and beautiful space for children to learn about the relationships between growing foods; Chickens/eggs; waste/composting and the ways that these elements are linked.

The build so far has included two large raised wicking bed gardens for veg growing. Wicking beds have a constant supply of water available to the plants in the reservoir beneath the soil, thus allowing plants to grow naturally searching for water below. These grow beds are at a comfortable level for the children to access all levels.

Also in this stage of the build we have installed a chicken coop and five meter run for the chickens. Care has been taken to design this system for easy cleaning and access as well as being fox and vermin proof.

The look of the system is ‘rustic/recycled’ to show that for something to look good and be functional it does not need to be made from new material. 98% of materials used in this project are recycled.

We also made some gorgeous matching workbenches and seats to match!

This set-up included a worm farm and a compost system so the children are able to learn about how to build healthy soils and make fertilizer for the plants. Other food waste scraps are fed to the chickens so show that the chickens now have the nutrients to produce the eggs for us to eat!

Included in this system are other animals for the children to interact with (and feed the produce too!) including rabbits, guinea pigs and a wee little mouse..

You can imagine the wonderful children’s parties that are held here! With the focus on sustainability and creativity Artspark have something really wholesome and different to offer for a change….

Now this is just stage one of the project. There will be more exciting things to post about this project as it progress in the next year including an aquaponics system, herb spiral and vertical growing and a living green roof on the chicken coop! Can’t wait!

I have also set up a workshop for kids after school on Wednesdays…..we have so much fun!

If you would like to learn more about the gardening or other activities at Artspark you can visit them here.

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