Hilperton Keyhole garden
African Garden Days African Garden Days

African Garden Days

African Garden Days


By planning, building and planting an African-style low-maintenance garden, UK children are learning about why organic farming is important, where food comes from and how people live in rural Africa.

African Garden Days is a hands-on programme to engage primary school pupils in nutrition, the principles of organic farming and how sustainable, chemical-free farming is helping people in Africa escape poverty. The programme is run by development charity Send a Cow.

Send a Cow has worked with farmers in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years, helping over 1 million people develop the skills and knowledge they need to make their living from the land. African Garden Days shares our experiences with pupils in the UK: over the next three years we will engage 30,000 pupils in over 150 schools, focusing on low-income areas in the West of England.

An African Garden Day begins with an assembly explaining what daily life is like on a small farm in Africa and the challenges people face in finding enough food, water and money to survive. Pupils learn how farmers gain new skills in sustainable organic agriculture, enriching the soil with compost and manure to make it more productive. Later on in the day children divide into teams to make their own African-style keyhole garden with a raised bed and central compost chamber for low-maintenance, healthy vegetables.

After the African Garden Day, teachers access an innovative virtual scrapbook site packed with ideas about how to use the keyhole garden as a learning resource across the curriculum. There is also an online forum where teachers can share their experiences and ask questions. Schools have reported that the keyhole garden becomes a permanent and valued part of their learning resources.