Hello Spring. Hello everyone. Spring news, new website, events and more
Studio Cultivate’s Spring 2019
Studio Cultivate’s primary objective is to help young people engage with the natural world through story-telling, practical activities and outdoor exploration.
Hello Spring. Hello everyone.
I’m delighted to use my first Studio Cultivate blog as an opportunity to welcome you to Studio Cultivate’s shiny new website, designed as a platform to bring together our three outdoor educational projects; Kindergarden, Merristems and PlayGreen.
For the first time since Studio Cultivate’s ‘germination’ in 2015, parents, pupils and educational operators will be able to keep up to date with all our exciting projects, ambitions and dreams. The website also provides those less familiar with Studio Cultivate with an intro to what we do and our unique way of doing it! And finally, I hope the website will become a vibrant hub for like-minded people with a passion for the natural world.
I do hope you enjoy what you see and read.
News from Studio Cultivate’s London
Spring has certainly arrived in London. Temperatures are wildly fluctuating and the wind is tearing through the city, ripping delicate blossom from magnolias (see photo) and cherries and slowing my cycling to a near standstill. The lurid yellows of daffs are everywhere and even honey and bumble bees are sleepily emerging, in time to gobble up the last of the pollen from Mahonia blooms.
Our Kindergarden schools’ autumn sown broad bean and sweet-pea seedlings have had an incredible acceleration in growth in the last few weeks, and if the clement weather continues, I predict we’ll be harvesting by mid-May.
We have just helped our Merristems school in Camden overhaul its old playground with the installation of a number of large planters, 5 of which have been planted with fruit trees. The remaining will be allocated to edible and pollinator friendly planting. This school is located in a particularly grey part of London and I am hugely excited by the prospect of helping the school’s pupils create a vibrant, productive garden and learning backdrop.
Coming up in 2019
Our Kindergarden pupils are about to commence the SnackPot project; an intensive seed sowing scheme that brings together pupils, parents and schools through the creation of edible gardens. For Spring 19 I have sourced the Mammoth Russian variety of sunflower seed to be each garden’s centre piece, so keep an eye out for some truly whopping sunflowers popping up around central London!
We are also delighted to announce that the PlayGreen project returns to the wonderful Chelsea Physic Garden this year. We will be running a number of our projects across 2019 including Dinner with Dinosaurs (an exciting day of herbivorous Dinos and living fossils) and Friars and Frenzies (our unique, botanical take on Romeo and Juliet). See booking links here-
If you would like to book one of our ‘one off’ events at Chelsea Physic Garden, please see this link-
I am also busy writing my next article for Nursery Management today, so stay tuned for this.
As for the Studio Cultivate team, I am thrilled to welcome back my old friend and collaborator George Nicholls from a highly successful trip to Bermuda and New York, where he was touring A Midsummer Night’s Dream. George will be busy delivering Kindergarden and PlayGreen workshops over the next few months.
Happily, Vanessa continues to play a vital roll in the delivery of KIndergarden, whilst impressively studying for a Art Psychotherapy Masters. Excitingly for us, Vanessa is focussing her studies in Child Development and I really look forward to seeing how this can feed into what we do.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Jen Botezat to the Studio Cultivate team. Jen certainly shares our passion for the outdoors. When not delivering KIndergarden, Jen is busy running her own garden maintenance company, volunteering at Kew and blogging. Check out her great work here https://ladygreenwell.com. Jen will be helping me establish a new south East London branch of KIndergarden this Spring, so if you work for / send your kids to / know of any schools that might be interested in helping their kids understand and care for the natural world do let us know.
Finally, we’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on the new-look website, or anything else for that matter. Do feel free to drop us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org
For now, I do hope you enjoy a productive Spring and find lots of time to get outdoors. I leave you with a beautiful poem my daughter and I came across this week,
Think of It
by Zaro Weil
Think of it
The first shudder of damp
That somehow signalled
All was ready
In the deep inside of earth
In the muted underneath of winter
Not with a sudden trumpet of green
Or a sky of confetti blossoms
But with a seed
Small, pale and barely breathing
It lay quietly
Waiting for the lavender clouds
That carry the first warm rains
For some reason as ancient and
Everyday as the sun itself
The seed cracked
Split and softly burst into
A faint tendril
A root a sprout
A thin wisp of a growing thing