Fruits and Vegetables Picnic Afternoon

Sat, 09/08/2014 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Botanic Garden
We had a lovely afternoon for our final picnic afternoon at the final picnic afternoon of the summer. After a brief shower the sun shone and continued to do so all afternoon. We welcomed the Oxford Drum Troupe to the Garden to play for us. Their beats reverberated around the Garden’s walls and got everyone tapping their feet to the infections beats they played. 
John Hunt also known as ‘The Hurdy Gurdy Man’ brought along his two hand-built street organs. Wafts of traditional music transported us back to childhood holidays. Young children were mesmerised by the toy monkey’s on top of the machines who bopped along to the music. John infectious enthusiasm captured everyone’s imagination and he did a great job of entertaining young and old throughout the afternoon.
We helped families create their own ‘fruit bowls’ from our own Arboretum willow. This technique is really simple and can work well with any bendy or supple plant material – even bindweed can be used to weave the sides of the basket. To have a go at home download the instructions here.
Families had a chance to use our Fabulous Fruit Trail looking at the weirder examples of fruits growing throughout the Garden. We also encouraged children to dig out pips from a range of fruits to sow and take home to grow. Hopefully there will be some new citrus, pomegranate and kiwi plants sprouting up soon!
Our ‘smelly pots’ are always popular. This week we challenged visitors to identify 3 different spices, just using their noses. Then think about which parts of the plant they come from.
G&Ds ice cream and the Perky Pukeko Coffee Cart did a great job keeping us supplied with beverages and treats! That mango sorbet was rather good!
Thank you to Corie, our HLF Skills for the Future Education Trainee for helping to deliver story-time. Finally, thank you to our lovely volunteers Alice, Ingrid & Kirsty who helped the afternoon go so smoothly. We can’t do these activities without your help and they wouldn’t be half as much fun! 
What you told us:
"We come especially for the family days. Brilliant, low-tech activities which we can't praise highly enough"
"How wonderful! It is so great to see such inclusive and interesting events for children. No extra cost is most refreshing. Thank you!"
"I think it has been an amazing experience doing this basket for 3 hour, mostly because of the teamwork and how with so many little things we can do a beautiful thing. Thank you. Irene 13 years, Spanish"
"There were lots of extremely fun activities"
"Good, fun interesting. Keeps boys amused."
"We had a lovely afternoon listening to stories and making baskets! What a great idea - more of these please!"