It's British Science Week, 11th 20th March, and one of the activities that the Sreepur Village runs is the creation and nurturing of sack gardens.
This is an aspect of the Mothers Talking Everyday Science project and is a particularly important activity because when the mothers return to mainstream society they will be experienced in how to prepare a container in which to grow food plants and how to care for them.
Such knowledge is important for the mothers as growing their own vegetables means they can independently provide their children with nutritional fresh food.
The mothers at Sreepur learn the science involved in growing vegetables by understanding how seeds germinate, the stages of growth and the time period from seed to fruit, or to vegetables like lettuce or cabbage and the right time that they should be eaten.
The mothers also learn about the type of growth and how to protect developing seedlings as well as the importance of staking the plants for support as they grow. The mothers observe the stages in development from seed to adult plant bearing fruits, in the present case tomatoes.
They are taught that the uptake of water of the dormant seed is vital before the seed will germinate and the other conditions that the seed and developing plant requires.
Even though sacks are used, other containers can also be utilised or even constructed from, for example, bamboo stems. This also introduces some basic engineering skills for the mothers.
"I hope that these new gardeners will talk to their children about growing food and the care of plants which will also help develop the children’s science literacy."