Friday was ‘Green Leap Day’ for the National Trust, a chance for everyone who works there to get the day off, to make an impact on the environmet and reduce their environmental footprint, by doing things such as changing to energy saving lightbulbs or starting a compost heap.
At the school i teach at, we have good links with Hidcote Manor Gardens, a beautiful National Trust site in the Cotswolds, not far from Chipping Campden. Definately worth a visit if you are in the area.
It was arranged that we would have a visit from Dame Fiona Reynolds, who is the Director General of the National Trust and from Alex James, who used to be in Blur and is now a farmer. The head gardener, deputy head gardener and a mix of other soily people came to help us out too.
A few carefully selected children spent the morning talking to Alex and Dame Fiona, and planting a variety of things including Early potatoes, broad beans, onion sets and herbs. We began by digging over the beds, which was followed up by a lot of time counting the worms and working out whose was longest and whose was fattest!
Alex then did and assembly all about how we could be more ‘green.’ A fantastic day morning was had by all, the beds got half planted up too, and one of the compost bins got turned too. Before i was interviewed on camera, Alex recommended i grow Artichokes at home, but sadly here i don’t have the space for something like that, however if i ever do get an allotment, they will be top of the list! We also discussed how veg gardening usually ends up being more expensive than buying it in the supermarket…you can’t beat the taste or the fact that you know exactly where they’ve come from and what they’ve got on them! I couldn’t resist a photo…i think he’s cheering as he thinks it’s a publicity photo though, not ‘cos it’s Vegmonkey, but heh, i can dream!
Quite how he has gone from iconic indie superstar, to being involved in the Beagle Space mission, to being Artist in Residence in Astrophysics at Oxford, to a Cheese Making Farmer, i don’t know, but he’s using his fame to raise green issues and living the ‘good life’ by the looks of it which is where i expect we’ll all end up in the end.