21 wonderfully active Master Gardeners have engaged nearly 850 people in food-growing conversations at 11 events throughout Norfolk since the programme started in mid-September. 92 households have also registered with their local Master Gardener for free mentoring and food-growing support – and that’s another 188 people across Norfolk who now have the opportunity to eat food that they have grown themselves.
These are great statistics, but what’s even better are the real stories behind the figures. For example…
Brigid is working with one of her households, Sue, a single mum, who is keen to grow vegetables as a supplement to her tight housekeeping budget. Great money saving ideas such as growing comfrey for home-made liquid feed are being suggested. Sue also has back issues, so Brigid has introduced her to no-dig gardening principles.
Kat in Hembsy contacted her Master Gardener for some practical focus to help her; “I’m glad to see this programme is up and running – a few years ago I wished for such a thing as I personally felt the need for an organic growing mentor in my own village and my mother’s village, both as a therapy for myself and to help develop ‘organic consciousness’ and community locally. I’m still struggling with my own experiments in growing although there is so much info available and so much to know – I just can’t take it all in and I need someone to help me focus in a practical way.” Peter is now working with Kat to plan food-growing for spring 2011.
Beverly concentrates her volunteering activity with children and already has three local primary schools up and running with their gardening clubs. She has also set up another group who will take part in the 2011 Food and Farming Challenge at the Royal Norfolk Show. Their challenge is on ‘The Humble Carrot’ and they will be growing their own carrots, visiting a local carrot farmer, and learning about the life and uses of carrots.
Thank you: Norfolk Master Gardeners are making a positive impact on people’s lives. It has brought new people into the world of volunteering. It has helped people get talking to their neighbours and it has encouraged outdoor activity in back gardens, allotments and community growing spaces.
2011 will see the programme expand with another recruitment of 20 more volunteers in spring. If you are interested in joining this amazing movement, please then click here.
To read Master Gardeners blogs, click here.
For this month’s growing tips, click here.