Gardening Club happens every Monday after supper. The juniors have their gardens near the gym but senior gardeners can have a plot in the 2 acre walled garden. They usually share with a friend or two and can spend time there whenever they are free. The girls grow any combination of vegetables and flowers, often sowing seeds and bringing on young plants in the greenhouse before transferring to their plots.
The gardening team at Hanford grow about 50% of the vegetable and fruit produce needed for the school and we are aiming to increase this to 75% over the next three years. The girls may help with sowing seeds, pricking out and planting out young vegetables in the walled gardens where they are grown on until ready for the kitchen and dining table. Produce that is ready during the holidays is picked and stored, preserved or frozen. When girls are involved in growing their food they develop a healthy understanding and value for food and they seem to be less fussy or wasteful. Weekend activities often involve cooking with home grown or gathered ingredients. To complete the growing cycle the manure for the gardens comes from our own ponies and the peelings from the kitchen are composted to boost our fine alluvium soil.
Hanford is currently working towards Level 4 (out of 5) of the Royal Horticultural Society 'Schools Gardening Campaign' which involves using the garden for teaching and learning across areas of the curriculum such as English, Scripture, Art, Handwork, Geography, History and Science as well as developing the girls own gardening skills. Many Hanford parents are keen gardeners and all are most welcome to lend a hand on a 'Gardening Sunday' after Chapel.