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    Welcome to Skool Beanz CIC

    We are a gardening club teaching children how to grow delicious vegetables, beautiful flowers and how to garden to help nature with plenty of upcycled art thrown in, run from our very own allotment in the village of Chilthorne Domer near Yeovil in Somerset, UK.

  • News


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    Joyful Skool Beanz & Charles Dowding Film


    Another pinch ourselves moment this summer was when the Willy Wonka of Veg and my old boss, mentor and friend Charles Dowding came to film a holiday gardening club. The sun shone and the children helped Charles pick fruit, veg and flowers. A joyful morning we will never forget.

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    Skool Beanz on Gardener's World

    Episode 22, Aug 2023

    A pinch ourselves moment was welcoming the Gardener's World team and community gardening hero Tayshan Hayden - Smith to spend a couple of days with us on the Skool Beanz allotment filming some of the activities we get up to. In true English summer style, it absolutely poured down on the second day of filming but that didn't dampen the little beanz spirits and we hope the magic and joy we experience from gardening shines through your tv screens.

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    Adult Courses For Gardening With Children

    This year we are proud to offer adult day courses for anyone interested in starting a children's gardening club, creating a children's garden or just looking for top tips on how to engage little beanz in the garden. No gardening experience required. Everyone welcome aged 18+.


    Sunday 27th August

    Sunday 17th September

    Sunday 1st October

    Sunday 8th October

    Sunday 15th October

    Sunday 22nd October


    10am - 4pm.


    Introductory offer £30.


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    Skool Beanz Open Day

    Sat 12th August 11am - 5pm

    We are thrilled to host our second NGS Open Day of the Year, welcoming you to look around our children's allotment. With tea and cake served at The Rec, live music, market stalls, plants for sale, creative gardening activities and lots of fun for all the family.

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    Picnic at Skool Beanz allotment

    Sun 23rd July 2023


    We are excited to be part of the Somerset Food Trail this year. Bring a picnic and sit amongst the beautiful flowers and veg at the Skool Beanz allotment. A lovely afternoon for all the family.

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    Creative Gardening Workshop

    @ Yeovil Art Space

    Sat 17th June 10am - 3pm

    Skool Beanz is running this fun workshop encouraging you to get arty and planty! Go green and learn how to upcycle and decorate pots, plant a pizza, make origami seed packets, decorate a jam jar lid for our ‘Jamdelier,’ paint a wooden spoon plant label and grow a microgreen salad and much more!

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    Skool Beanz at Home Farm Fest

    9th - 11th June 2023

    This is our second year at this lovely family friendly music festival in our village running creative gardening workshops.


    The money raised goes to School in a Bag, the wonderful charity who send School Bags filled with educational resources to poor, orphan, vulnerable, disadvantaged and disaster-affected children around the world.


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    Skool Beanz at RHS Wisley

    May 2023

    It's National Children's Gardening Week 27th May - 4th June and what better way to celebrate than to spend the day at Wisley with my friend Charles Dowding, delivering creative gardening workshops in the beautiful new Hilltop building to keen little gardeners and their adults. Thank you to eveyone who joined us and made it so fun.

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    Garden like you have 1 summer left

    Article for The Little Yellow Book of Gardens and health for gardens and health week 2023

    Thank you National Garden Scheme for publishing this article I wrote about the reasons behind starting Skool Beanz and why I'm so passionate about teaching gardening to children.

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    Skool Beanz NGS Open Day

    Saturday 15th April 2023

    11am - 5pm

    Come along and visit the Skool Beanz Allotments (we have 4!) and our community orchard at our NGS open days this year on Saturday 15th April and Saturday 12th August.


    With plenty of garden inspiration and fun children's gardening activities along with stalls selling seeds, plants, Skool Beanz art creations, jewellry, woodturning and delicious tea and cake served at The Rec.


    We can't wait to see you there.

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    New No-Dig Children's Book

    Skool Beanz is thrilled to have contributed to this fab new No-Dig Children's Gardening book by Charles Dowding out January 2023.


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    Sherborne Times February 2023

    Thank you so much to the Sherborne Times for featuring us and sharing the Skool Beanz joy.

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    Crowdfunder Raises £987

    Thank you so much to everyone who kindly donated to this fund. What a great way to kick start the new year.

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    RHS The Garden Magazine October 2021

    Biggest thanks goes to garden writer extraordinaire Matt Biggs for seeking me out and writing this lovely article about my gardening story and the reasons why I'm so passionate about teaching children the joys of gardening.



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    I'm Lara and I created Skool Beanz because I felt inspired by Greta Thunberg's Fridays For Future movement and young activists around the world standing up for our precious planet. Skool Beanz started as an after school gardening club at the primary school in my village of Chilthorne Domer in Somerset in June 2019. It was so popular that when an allotment opposite the school became available, I decided to transform the plot into a garden especially for children using the No-Dig method. Then covid hit. So the lockdown's were spent getting the allotment all cleared, built, mulched with compost and manure and woodchip paths laid all ready for the children to start planting in April 2021 when the lockdown was eased. Since then Saturday gardening club has run every week, 10am-12pm from Spring to Christmas.


    The Skool Beanz allotment is like no other with a cut flower area, fruit and veg beds, rain water collecting station, 'muddy buddy' compost heap, quiet wildlife garden, secret den, polytunnel, raised beds, fruit trees and work tables. A beautiful garden brimming with life and colour where children can pick buckets of dahlias, gorge on raspberries, fish tadpoles out of the pond, water the plants and each other, throw petal confetti, hold an elephant hawk moth caterpillar, make 'Michael Eavis' and 'Barbara' the scarecrows, feed the birds, pod peas, dig potatoes, make 'perfume' and pick Colin and Harold the courgettes to name but a few!


    With 1 in 6 children suffering from poor mental health according to an NHS survey conducted in Oct 2020 and 40% of our wildlife declined since the 1970's with the UK being one of the most nature depleted countries on Earth according to the 2019 State of Nature report, children and nature need each other more than ever. If we teach children how to create a beautiful garden, not only will it improve their physical and mental wellbeing it will benefit our precious wildlife.


    Teaching children how to sow seeds, grow fruit and veg, and harvest, store and prepare food they have grown are skills they will keep forever. Skills they will teach their children and grandchildren. My dream is to teach as many children, parents and teachers the joys of gardening and what can be achieved on an allotment or in your own garden with the best tips, advice and ways to engage young people which I have learnt over the past few years teaching gardening to children.


    Happy growing everyone


    Lara x


    Previous Employers:

    Charles Dowding

    Long Acre Plants For Shade

    Black Shed Flower Farm

    Blackmarsh Farm Kitchen Garden

    Martock Workspace Kitchen Garden (current)


    Horticultural Qualifications and Experience:

    RHS Practical Level 2

    Diploma in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, Coventry University

    Brighton Permaculture Trust





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