Over the past few months our Mansfield Street based Support Worker, Lucy, has taken groups of clients to work on Space Inclusive’s very own allotment.
Lucy has had her own allotment on the site for six years. After looking for a site to use to launch her Grow, Cook and Eat scheme STAA (St Anns Allotment Association) very kindly offered us the shared use of the nursery. Additionally, they let Space Inclusive use the site rent free for twelve months.
Because of the previous user, the site was already set up with great facilities including a shared eating space and an incredible 50ft glass house!
The wonderful thing about allotments is the knowledge and understanding of self-sufficiency that a client can get out of working on it. To be able to grow your own fruit and vegetables helps teach clients about healthy eating and gives them an appreciation of nature and the world around them.
One client, Kate, has been helping out since May. “I’ve done planting, weeding, watering, chopping hedges, composting and growing tomatoes.” she says. “It’s nice and peaceful…it helps me relax”. So, has she got the gardening bug? Yes – “I’ll definitely carry on” she says.
Kate has already had a chance to try some of the produce from the garden, which is all organic. “I’ve had cucumbers, peppers and courgettes” she says.
Lucy is delighted with how the allotment has progressed, “It’s been a great opportunity to enable clients to experience nature through growing their own produce. We’ve gone from sowing to planting out and harvesting…”
“Having the opportunity to pick from fresh organic vegetables which are prepared and cooked on site for a shared meal has been fantastic” Lucy says.
The allotment is a relatively new innovation but it’s become an indispensable part of Space Inclusive.