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Green fingered half term holiday activities with the National Trust

School holiday events in Gloucestershire

Veg in small spaces: You don’t need a garden to plant vegetables.

This half term, the National Trust is demonstrating how radishes can revel in a window box, parsley will prosper in a pot, and lettuce lives very happily in an old watering can.

Growing your own vegetables is a fantastic way for the whole family to spend time. There’s nothing more satisfying than cooking a meal made from vegetables you have grown yourself.

Given the right start in life, vegetables will grow anywhere, you don’t need a huge vegetable patch to enjoy produce fresher than any you’ve ever had before.

John Rippin, deputy head gardener at Hidcote Manor Garden says: “Vegetables grow really well anywhere, even in a pot on a windowsill. With lettuce you can just take off a few leaves when you need them and they’ll grow more leaves. Children find that really interesting. My kids get a massive amount of satisfaction from growing things and get really excited when they see their seeds coming up. They used to hate lettuce but after growing it for a couple of years they will now eat it.

“I started gardening when I was about five and spent most of my free time on my parents’ allotment. It’s great to try planting some of the brightly coloured or stripey beans, or grow enormous pumpkins. Picking peas and eating them straight out of the pod is also good fun. My daughter was crawling over to our raspberry bush and eating the raspberries off it before she was even one. I think it’s great for them to understand where food comes from.”

“This half term at Hidcote Manor, we’re running a ‘name that vegetable’ competition where people will be blindfolded and have to guess the vegetable by touch and smell alone. We’re also giving away seeds, tomato plants and pots for people to take away, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get started on growing your own.”

Also during half term at Newark Park, discover how the kitchen garden was used to feed the household and learn how you can attract wild life into your garden.

At Chedworth Roman Villa and Lodge Park and Sherbone Estate, other activities with a foodie bent are being laid on. Learn how the Romans ate at Chedworth (Roman Food Weekend at Chedworth Roman Villa) and discover what life was like for domestic servants in the 17th century at Lodge Park (Food Glorious Food at Lodge Park) and Sherborne Estate.

Food Glorious Food is part of the National Trust's overall commitment to sustainable food production on all land, and the use of quality, local, seasonal and sustainable food in its kitchens and 150 restaurants. For more information visit

Explore Gloucestershire
19 May 2009


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