We are two months in to our twice-weekly summer allotment group sessions. We have had quite a mixture of weather so far; a lot of rain and more recently some glorious sunny spells has left our plot looking lush!
Here’s more from Jo who leads the sessions…
“This is my first year as lead allotment worker with Emmanuel House and I am loving the role. The plot has been worked by EH since 2009. In many respects, much of the hard work to establish the plot, such as the building of the Summer House and the large pond has already been completed. But as any gardeners reading this will know, allotments are always works-in-progress. We still have plans to build more beds, a compost toilet and a peace garden in the corners of our plot and hope to see these plans come into fruition in 2019/20.
We take service users up to the site twice a week from March to October and have a regular group of 6-8 people attending the sessions. The growing season, particularly April to June is very busy getting things planted out and taking chances with late frosts. Once summer sets in, we then need to ensure everything is looked after, fed, watered and that bugs and slugs are kept at bay, so there is always much to be done.
Some of our service users like to get stuck in to the hard digging and more physical tasks whilst others prefer lighter tasks. Some just like to come and sit and be in such a nice space; all are welcome.
Additional to the benefits of eating locally produced fresh vegetables and fruit, much has been written about the benefits of gardening on mental health and physical health. Some of our service users have shared their views below.
“It is very therapeutic…I love coming here…You can really relax, it’s calm and very enjoyable”
” It helps with my physical and mental health.”
“It is nice that Emmanuel House has a place like this for me to come too. The staff treat me with respect.”
“I see the Allotment as therapy as it gets me out of the house.”
“I enjoy learning about new things and I am able to get out away from bad situations.”
To sustain and upgrade the allotment, the group has decided that they would like to buy new planters, plants, two new benches and compost. Is this something you might be able to contribute to? Please get in touch if you are able to help in any way.