Geoffrey Field Junior School, Reading
Geoffrey Field Junior School, Reading, UK has been developing its outdoor classroom since 2006 when it created a forest garden with a dipping pond and wide range of useful plants from around the world. The garden is maintained and eaten by the school's gardening club – Japanese wineberries are a perennial favourite. The whole school has tasted soups made from pumpkins and Jerusalem artichokes, which both originate from north America. One class used a medieval recipe to bake a medlar pie for a project on the Tudors. The medlar originates in the Caucasus mountains and is mentioned in four of Shakespeare's plays.
The latest project is for every class to create its own veg bed to grow a meal that can be harvested before the end of the summer term. The raised beds are made from willow logs from overgrown trees in the school grounds and locally sourced oak. A layer of scavenged cardboard at the bottom of each bed suppresses the weeds and the beds will be irrigated by rainwater collected in re-used orange juice concentrate containers. The garden won the Pride of Reading award for healthy living in 2009.