We are developing a 250m2 community allotment plot at Back Lane (accessed from Sierra Rd) which we acquired in April 2020. For four years prior to that, we had been running another community allotment at the Back Lane site.
Our Community gardeners all bring different skills to the project, helping with horticultural and DIY tasks as diverse as: sourcing materials, planting, weeding, repairs and improvements, hard landscaping. To be ready for next season, we are building a greenhouse, we plan to construct a patio near the river edge, we have built more efficient compost heaps and we will construct a potting area under cover. We grow flowers and vegetables as well as ourselves, always learning new things together. Any spare produce we deliver to One Can Trust for others to appreciate.
Using the Community allotment and other urban growing spaces we provide the Community Gardeners with the motivation, capability and capacity to learn about how our food is produced. This will involve design, planning, growing cycles, harvest, storing and cooking produce. We provide a safe, green space, where equipment and guidance is provided at regular supervised sessions.
As well as growing skills, volunteer gardeners have the opportunity to learn about the 5 ways to wellbeing (connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give). Wellbeing is about having a positive outlook on life, including feeling good about yourself. It is more than physical health; people with higher levels of wellbeing live longer and healthier lives, recover more quickly from illness, do better in school, college and the workplace and are more resilient in hard times. Research shows there are five ways that can really help to boost our wellbeing.
The cornerstone of wellbeing is to connect with others – we do this through running regular sessions where individuals work in groups and develop trust. All our work involves participation in some level of physical activity, be that working in the allotment, foraging or corporate days for local organisations. But is it not just about being active physically, mental activity is also important; taking notice of the people and things around us, living in the moment and reflecting on it helps us to identify what is important to us. Aligned with this is learning new skills or generally acquiring knowledge. Learning new things makes us more confident. By aligning what is important to people with their desire to learn, we aim to make learning fun. Finally building on connecting, being active, taking notice and learning, it motivates us to want to share our enthusiasm with others - giving. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and it creates connections with the people around you.
We welcome gardeners irrespective of how much time they can contribute, be it weekly or monthly, they are always welcome. For everyones' safety, we follow the current Covid Regulations.