Profile: Oaklea, 13th Sep, 2017
Our adult care home links with the community over vegetables!
In the autumn of 2016 some of our customers showed an interest in doing some gardening and wanted to grow produce to eat so when went about buying some veggie bags and grew potatoes, courgettes and tomatoes.
On the back of our small successes in growing we contacted a local landowner to see if we could rent an allotment near our home, just a short walk along the riverside, but we had to be put on the waiting list as they are very much in demand!
Luckily for us one became available earlier this year and our customers and staff were keen to get started. We planted seed potatoes and turnips to begin with, then some lettuce plants that had been grown from seed at a customer’s day centre garden club.
When we took it over our allotment was well established and well maintained so we were able to soon reap the harvest of all the fruit bushes and rhubarb, making fruit salads, tarts, jams and chutney.
To keep the plot going we then applied for a Wishlist grant to purchase a wheelbarrow and some tools along with some seating for customers, enabling us to keep the garden clean of weeds with a comfy place to sit and view our hard work.
This has given our staff team a real drive to take on something different and for our customers with green fingers a goal to produce something of their own and see the benefits of their hard work. For those customers not so inclined it has created a calm, relaxing space to chat with other members of our community, compare growing notes or just watch the world go by!
We cannot wait to get started again next Spring!
Ruth Hall, Registered Manager