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DESS Farm or DESS Garden? and Sustainable Festive Ideas


Wow what’s that by the gym? The children were delighted to come back last week and discover their DESS Farm had arrived.  While observing the pods and finding out about the crops, the question arose, is it a garden or a farm? After much discussion the children decided to call it the DESS Farm; a word which better represents the dedication the children will need to look after it and the culture it will start at DESS.

Every child at DESS can benefit from the farm. It is a great way to learn about nutrition and make the connection between growing food, good diets and importantly, develop life skills and increase environmental awareness; not to mention learn about companion planting and composting. Phew, we are going to be busy!

Observing the rocket and cherry tomatoes grow from last week encouraged children to look closely and recognise changes in their environment.  According to numerous studies children are much more likely to eat salad when they have grown it themselves.  Can’t wait to test out this theory when we try the nutrient rich rocket, basil, parsley and cherry tomatoes the moment they’re ready for picking; we can’t wait!

Fun Fact

Did you know that a little garnish of parsley every day can go a long way in protecting your body from cardiovascular issues like strokes, atherosclerosis, and coronary attacks? Parsley is so heart-healthy because it generates the important B vitamin, folic acid. So, let’s all pop a little homegrown parsley on our plates.



Sustainable Festive ideas

It is a little early but now that the festive season is edging ever closer, DESScares wants to encourage you all to have a sustainable festive season and model to the children that it is possible to have a wonderful time, while still being mindful of the damage caused to the environment. 

Why not challenge yourselves as a family to try and achieve some or all of these suggestions?


Think about all the trees that will get the chop this year or all the plastic used to create artificial tress, so instead why not:

  • Buy a sustainable Christmas tree, which is kept in a pot in your house and can then go into your garden
  • If you are super creative, think of fun ways of making a home-made tree – there are some great ideas out there


The carbon footprint of Christmas cards is significant so we want you to wish your loved ones a Happy sustainable Christmas by using these ideas for alternatives to sending Christmas cards:

  • Make a personalised video for each family member and send if via email
  • Use e-cards
  • Make a charitable donation instead of sending cards
  • Support a re-forestation programme and plant a tree per family you want to send wishes to


Many wrapping materials can’t be recycled so try and choose wrapping that can be recycled. A good test is to scrunch it up, if it unfolds of its own accord then it contains un-recyclable materials. You could use alternatives to wrapping paper – be creative!

Lights and Decorations

In the UK more than 25,000 tonnes of CO2 is emitted just over the 12-day Christmas period due to the lights. So, we are suggesting you use LED lights to decorate your house and sustainable tree. The best decorations are family heirlooms, but you can always add to these with ones made of metal or wood rather than plastic. 

You could also go wild with a reusable advent calendar and reusable crackers; the children will love making these!

Christmas is a perfect time to teach our DESS children to be mindful of the environment, it is a time for giving and appreciating what you have… what could be more important?

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