Four housemates in Scarborough have just been presented with the 'Best Edible Products' trophy in York Housing Association's In Bloom competition.
Blessed with a big garden, Adrian, Graham, Penny and Jonathon embarked on a vegetable plot. With their enablers, they planned and built three raised beds that would let them get close to nature and grow their own food.
Everyone got involved. When the soil was delivered Graham got down to some hard graft with shovel and wheelbarrow to get the planters filled, with a little help from his enabling friends.
The fresh air, fresh food and fun in the garden would have been enough. But then an advert calling for entries for an In Bloom competion appeared in their housing association newsletter; not expecting anything of it, they entered. The subject had been all but forgotten when they received a letter… saying they had won!
Helen, who helped with the garden, explained: “the project started a bit late into the year so we weren’t sure we would get a crop at all – let alone win a prize! But of course the real win is the way that everyone joined in, creating something new.”
Jonathon used to be quite frightened of going outside but over this summer his experience enabled him to enjoy getting out into the garden, increasing his freedom and choices.
Adrian doesn't communicate verbally, the visits to the garden centre were so inspiring and motivated him so much that he was able to clearly show his preferences for plants by walking up to the ones he liked and indicating which he wanted. The tomato plants he picked have been a great success – huge, juicy tomatoes are just ripening now and it looks set to be a bumper crop.
Penny's favourite part has been cooking and preparing meals with their produce – and eating them of course.
Graham has found that he has really blossomed in the garden (if you will pardon the pun!). He has been actively involved at every stage and has discovered something that really suits him. He’s now working towards getting a placement or job trial with a gardening business.
Appropriately the award was presented in their own back yard (by Julia Histon, Chief Executive of York Housing Association). As well as the smart glass trophy they received £40 in cash.
Eating al fresco has become one of the household's favourite things this summer. Up until now this has meant getting the indoor table carried out – so the winnings are going to be spent on a proper garden table.
A massive ubu congratulations to team 'Green Fingers'!