Last week may have been National Allotment Week, but every week is allotment week for the children and staff working on the Green Fingers project.
They have been reflecting on what a successful harvest they have had this summer.
The project works exclusively with Children in Care, kinship and adopted young people and their carers, helping them through training and activities to improve their health and well-being.
As always, the key to a good harvest is good preparation; everyone involved worked really hard preparing the allotment.
The children and staff worked together; sowing seeds, planting, re-renovating the flower beds in the allotment and the polytunnel, creating new paths in the garden, preparing the soil for re-planting, even trying to rabbit proof the polytunnel.
All the hard work paid off and the children and staff have had a very successful harvest of tomatoes, chilli peppers, cucumbers, sweetcorn, courgettes, runner beans, sweat peas, bell peppers, basil, spinach, mixed lettuce leaves, onions, garlic and hundreds of apples.
Having access to such an array of vegetables on your doorstep, means you can learn to cook healthy meals from scratch.
Steph Harrison from How to Cook led a summer cooking workshop last month where the young people cooked with some of our freshly ground vegetables such as onions and courgettes, adding them to pasta made from scratch.
Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families said: “It’s wonderful to hear of all the adventures and new experiences for the children and staff involved with the Green Fingers project this summer.
The project really does some great work, helping children in care to learn some valuable life skills, improve their wellbeing, and most importantly have some fun. To see the journey that the children go on through the project, is lovely.”
The site has developed over the summer into a beautiful space; the flowers and greenery give vibrant colours to look at, the tomato and basil plants smell as if you’re visiting Southern Italy rather than Worcester.
The scenery attracts the buzzing bees and the chirping crickets to listen to.
Green Fingers is a truly therapeutic place for both children and animals to be, the children and staff have welcomed a variety of animals down to the allotment this summer.
These include frogs, toads, grass snakes, newts, butterflies, dragonflies, muntjack deer, rabbits, and even a mole.
The Green Fingers project is funded by the Big Lottery and started in 2010.
Based at Top Barn, the project is run in association with Worcestershire County Council Children’s Services and it now employs sessional workers, four community and leisure mentors and the community and leisure development worker who is the coordinator for the project.
For more about the project, please visit: http://www.greenfingersproject.com/