THE boys of St Patrick’s NS in Skibbereen have been awarded once more for their green fingers after winning the Muintir na Tire Cork School Garden of the Year.
The youngsters from all classes have created a truly impressive on-site space which features a sensory path and garden, a zen garden, a living tunnel leading to its own willow dome, and a series of raised vegetable beds, one for each class in the school, which features everything from sweetcorn to onions and potatoes.
Inside their Geodome the 200 pupils grow everything from bananas and tea plants to avocado, melons, tomatoes, and squash, as well as a selection of colourful but deadly carnivorous plants such as the Venus flytrap and pitcher plant. Each class has its own vegetable bed, on which the children and their teacher grow a selection of vegetables, berries, and even flowers.
Junior infants, for example cultivate sunflowers and strawberries, first-class pupils grow onions and shallots, while sixth-class pupils concentrate on potatoes. They have also planted an orchard and fruit bushes.
This success follows their garden recently being named joint winner of a national competition run by regional newspapers’ representative group Local Ireland.
West Cork schools did very well this year in the Cork School Garden Awards with Muinefliuch NS (Best Diversity Garden), Rusheen NS (Best Food Production Garden), Scoil na Buachaillí Clonakilty (Most Improved Garden), Timoleague NS (Joint Best Colour and Art Garden), Scoil Abán Naofa Ballyvourney (Joing Best Colour and Art Garden) and Scoil Mhuire Schull (Most Improved Garden) all winning Special Awards.
Others in West Cork who did well were Scoil Phadraig Naofa Bandon, Aghabullogue Scoil Mhaoi Iosa Knockavilla, Ardfield NS, Ballymoney NS, Scoil Mhuire Rosscarbery, Rath NS Baltimore, Glandore NS and Ballyheada NS.