A large part of living on the Isles of Scilly is focused on living a sustainable life, growing your own veg, owning chickens and letting the kids be free range.
We asked Poppy, one of our amazing little Frugi models, what it's like to grow up the Isles of Scilly...
Hi Poppy! How old are you?
5 years old
Tell us about where you live.
Isles of Scilly, on St Marys on a farm, it's an island in the middle of the sea.
What animals do you have on the farm?
Piglets, Cows, 1 calf, a dog, 2 cats, 1 kitten and lots and lots of chickens
Which one is your favourite?
The kitten but I love the piglets too.
What fruit and vegetables do you grow on the farm?
Cucumbers, carrots, lots of strawberries, potatoes and butternut squash. We also grow corn, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and lots of salad leaves!
What is the best thing about living on the Isles of Scilly?
Going in our boat to other beaches and exploring the islands. We sometimes fish on the way or way back for some Mackerel because it's my Granddad's favourite and then he eats them for his tea.
Where is your favourite place?
Garrison pirate ship (it's the playpark)
What is your favourite thing to do after school/ at the weekend?
Playing with my brothers on the beach with the kayaks. My favourite game is Hide & Seek with my dog Buddy.
We've been chatting to Anja from Mud & Bloom about re-connecting children with nature and how you can encourage kids to get outdoors.
I live in Bristol with my partner and three young children aged six, four and one. I gave up my full time job working at an international development charity in London almost three years ago to spend more time with my children and pursue my passion for gardening. I enrolled on a Royal Horticulture Society course and was originally intending to start a gardening business. But when I started writing about children and the natural world on my blog, I found a lot of people shared my belief in the importance of nature, time outdoors and free play for their children’s development and well-being.
I subscribed to indoor craft activity boxes for my children when I was working full time and thought they were fantastic – having everything you need to sit down, make something and enjoy quality time with your child without having to go out and buy everything you need separately was invaluable, especially when both parents are working. I looked around and was surprised that there were no similar activity boxes catering to gardening and the outdoors. So I launched Mud & Bloom in December 2017, we've just shipped out our 15th monthly box and our subscribers have increased each month!
How important is it to connect children with nature?
I have always seen the benefits of my children being in nature: they are just happier if I can get them outdoors regularly. It helps us centre if we feel connected to the natural world around us, especially in this day and age when we're all so distracted and so reliant on our electronic devices. Studies show there is more and more of a disconnect between children and nature, and increasingly this disconnect is linked to the rise we are seeing in childhood stress, anxiety and depression. Regular contact with nature has proven benefits including enhanced brain development, improved concentration and better mental health – and of course time outdoors helps them stay fit and healthy.
I believe that all children should have access to green space and to experience putting their hands in soil and growing their own vegetables. The Mud & Bloom boxes are designed to be accessible to people with or without gardens, and each box includes organic, peat-free compost pellets to enable anyone to get growing immediately regardless of what space they live in.
Why do children love the craft boxes?
I try to give children a mix of instant gratification with the craft activities and something they will have to care for and nurture with the growing activities. The thing that unites everything in the box is that it is geared to learning about nature and getting outside. So for most of the craft activities,the children need to go to the garden, or for a walk, and find things like sticks, leaves or flower petals to go with the materials provided in the box. We also have a spotting activity each month which children need to get outside to do, and a nature news telling children what to look out for in nature that month.
I get feedback from parents on a daily basis and hearing about the happiness it brings has on occasion made me cry! One busy mum told me that the boxes meant she could do the things she'd always dreamt of doing with her son. Another told me about her daughter, who has learning difficulties, and how excited she is when her box comes each month. It feels a real privilege to be playing a small part in opening children's eyes to nature.
What is your favourite outdoor activity to do with your own children?
Despite living in a city, I try to get into nature with my children every day, and with two very energetic boys we do a lot of cycling, scooting, walking and tree climbing. They also love getting out and planting bulbs and seeds - they take a lot of care over planting and it's wonderful to see their excitement when the shoots start to come through! My middle son also loves spotting birds on the bird feeder and ticking off the ones he sees.
There's also a lot of value in letting them engage in free play outside and seeing what they come up with. Children get very observant when they are tuned in to nature and my boys will often spot things I miss - or they will just come up with their own imaginative games with buckets full of mud!
You can find out more here
Thanks Anja! x
Inspired by Island life, our Summer of Scillyness collection features colourful tractors, homegrown veg, and even a flying sausage dog – How Scilly!
After the team had unpacked, we grabbed a cuppa with Genna, our super Photography Co-ordinator, to see just what goes into capturing the Frugi magic on a typical photo shoot.
What equipment did you use for shooting on the Isles of Scilly?
A very heavy DSLR and a fast lens – always with a very fast shutter to capture the fast-moving objects! (toddlers
What is your favourite piece from the SS19 collection and why?
I absolutely love the Wren Woven Dress in the Scilly Strawberries print, it reminds me of a dress I had when I was a little girl and evokes memories of long summer days playing with my friends. It also has a cute matching hat!
Did the rainy weather create any challenges and if so, how did you overcome them?
Haha, Yes! Rain isn’t ideal for any shoot, especially when we’re trying to get beach shots. Obviously, the pictures won’t look quite right but also you have to think about the photography kit getting wet, models, parents and staff getting cold etc.
We had a tight schedule to stick to, so we made the best of it by getting some photos of the outerwear, it was definitely put to the test! On the worst day for weather, we dived into a café on Tresco and they kindly let us store the clothes and get warm and dry. All the models and parents were so helpful too...smiles all round!
What was the hardest thing about shooting on an island?
The trickiest thing was the work beforehand - all the logistics. We had to transport about 15 boxes (full of samples / kit / props) from Penzance over to St. Marys where we were staying. We then had inter-island journeys each day to get to where we were shooting. On top of that, we had to organise boats to transport our lovely models from one island to another and back again, all at different times depending on what time their shoot was. It certainly made our shoots back home seem very simple!
How long does it take to prepare for a shoot?
The first shoots we do for a season take place about a year before the collection launches. So planning for our Summer of Scillyness shoots began in January 2017!
What was the most enjoyable part of the Scilly’s trip?
The most enjoyable part for me was driving heavily loaded golf carts around the islands. We’d have a couple of people in the front, and one person in the back holding onto clothing rails – we got some very interesting looks!
If you could have any item from the SS19 range made into an adult size, what would you choose and why?
Definitely our Cosy snuggle suits! They'd be ideal for relaxing in after a busy day shooting!
Let us in on a little secret –are there any weird and wonderful techniques you use to entertain the children?
It’s not much of a secret, but blowing bubbles seems to always please toddlers, and if siblings are involved then any sort of competition usually gets them animated!
Lastly, can you tell us a bit about what happens after a photoshoot? How much post-production is involved with the photos and video?
The hard work continues once we’re back from a shoot. The first step is to backup the images- this will happen after each day shooting.
Then we look through every single image (3000- 4000 per day) to make a selection.
We choose the best 2 or 3 images per outfit. These will then get edited to make sure the colours are OK and garments look true to life.
To shop the latest collection, click here