The Manor Fields Community Garden project will provide a facility in which school children together with the local community can grow food and learn about healthy eating, whilst benefiting from social opportunities and protecting the quality of our local natural environment.
What will it be like?
The garden has two areas:
A large greenhouse with dual functionality - as a classroom and all year round Mediterranean garden and an Outdoor seasonal garden area.
What Benefits will it Bring?
The children at Manor Fields Primary school will have an opportunity to experience first hand, the journey of their food from seed to plate. They will be able to expand their understanding of the surrounding natural environment and learn how to grow their favourite fruits and vegetables. In turn, this will promote healthy eating amongst the children. Moreover, the combination of the greenhouse and outdoor classroom area will enable teachers to enhance children’s learning experiences by holding lessons in the fresh air, regardless of the weather. Spending more time outdoors will improve the children’s well being.
The garden will be available to use as a calming, sensory place . This will directly benefit about 5% SEN and 30% of children in need of extra support with nurturing and social skills at the school.
Grove Cottage (Bishop’s Stortford Mencap) will be another local organisation with access to the community garden. Grove Cottage provides social and educational opportunities for adults and children of all ages who have a learning disability. Their Ofsted-regulated Special Needs Nursery and most of their evening clubs could really benefit from the Community Garden. Grove Cottage will be able to use it as an educational tool or as therapeutic support. Grove Cottage’s own indoor and outdoor space is very limited and being able to take their members somewhere new and stimulating will improve the support their Nursery and Club Leaders can provide.
The Manor Fields Community garden will bring local residents together. It will be a place of gardening activities and socialisation for parents, children and their grandparents, bringing three generations together. Also, it will be maintained by teams of local volunteers such as elderly residents, adults and children with learning difficulties fromThe Wellbeloved Club and The Wiggly Willow. The Bishop's Stortford Men's Shed will provide all the woodwork services, such as making benches and planters for the garden. This will provide them with an opportunity for socialisation while supporting their well being. It will be particularly beneficial for local residents who live on their own and feel lonely or socially isolated. As a gesture of thank you the volunteers will be invited for lunch/dinner made from the harvested vegetables and prepared/cooked by the children. Such events will take place on the weekend termly.
This is an “eco-friendly” project. Its unique architectural features will enable us to harness solar energy for heating and lighting the greenhouse. We will use biodegradable pots for planting and paper envelopes for collecting herbs, eliminating the need for single-use plastics.
The facility will enable the school to invite ecologists, professional gardeners and chefs to give talks/presentations about the journey of our food from seed to plate. This project will benefit Manor Fields Primary School by putting it in the spotlight as a school that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through educating the school children and bringing the local community together.
MFSA would like to say a massive thank you to East Herts Council’s Community Grant Award for their help to get this project off the ground. Their support meant that the project was able to transition from paper to the real world. We need your help to complete it. Let’s make Manor Fields Community Garden happen!
Please do visit our website for more information, some lovely pictures and a video explaining how this all started and why it matters so much.
Please pledge whatever you can to help the garden happen, and - just as importantly - help us spread the word to your own friends and neighbours by sending them a link to this page.