Monday, 22 September 2014

Growing Along with the Botanic Garden... 'The Return'

This afternoon the autumn sun shone and we welcomed back some of the participants in our ‘Growing Along with the Garden’ project, a group of adults with learning disabilities. From March until July they tended their veggie patch down on the riverbank in order to gain their ASDAN certificate in horticulture. It seemed only fair to invite them back to enjoy some of the fruits (and veggies) of their labours.

They harvested bright Swiss chard, French beans, runner beans, carrots, courgettes/marrows plus a green salad of lettuce and rocket supplemented by a few tomatoes grown by the Glasshouse team.  Kate whipped up a winner of a stir fry for everyone to try. It wasn’t all noshing, they earnt their lunch by weeding, removing old plants, watering and tidying the patch. As they say, ‘no such thing as a free lunch’…

Then we took the group for a walk past Jim’s burgeoning veg patch to a new plot hidden from view in the cottage’s garden. The veggie beds there were pretty much good to go thanks to the work of the hardy team and a little hoeing and light digging soon had the patch ready to receive its first sowing of seeds with our group. It was a perfect day to enjoy the Garden and scrump a few raspberries – well, who could resist that?!

We hope to use the new patch with lots of different audience including school children, teacher training as well as our adults with learning disabilities. 

Thanks to Paula Simmonds from the Oxfordshire Skills and Learning Service, our course tutor Anne Freeman plus Linda Pedersen and Linda Lawes our indispensable volunteers for all their help and support through the summer!

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