New allotment

Over the course of the year, the VSU group The Green Team (with much help from the superb Estates and Gardens teams) has migrated the school allotment from its initial position in the old swimming pool behind Cottage Block to a larger and more suitable site running along the eastern edge of Sennocke House lawn.

This new site served as the school allotment decades ago but had fallen into disrepair. After the clearing of bramble, diseased ash trees and a not insignificant quantity of junk, the site looks refreshed. It affords beautiful views of the Knole Estate and has excellent positioning to gather sunlight in the early and late hours of the day.

Although the team’s work on this site is in its infancy, recent activities have included de-rooting the ground, improving the soil quality with mushroom compost, erecting and glazing a 6 x 10 ft Halls greenhouse, weeding, and watering. Access to the site only became available at the end of March 2021 and so The Green Team had to sow and germinate seeds in advance; growing and tending to these seedlings over the Easter holiday.

The warmth of the indoor environment meant we were inundated with young pumpkin, squash, courgette, runner bean and tomato plants come the start of the Summer term. Potatoes, onions and shallots were planted out early in the cold weather but have fared well. The team had to wait until the weather got warmer in May before planting out the more tender crops.

Over time, the team will be able to use more of the space available as well as expand the variety of fruit and vegetable grown. The current crop will be donated to a local charity, Sevenoaks Larder, which was set up during the first national lockdown in April 2020. The charity provides food, hygiene products and other essentials to those in need in the local area.

The site is being looked after by staff over the summer and we look forward to being able to provide fresh produce to this excellent initiative.

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