As part of the recently launched Carrickfergus Food Forum the Parks & Countryside section collaborated with health services on a ‘Growing Together’ initiative in the Sunnylands area.
‘Growing Together’ is an environmental based intergenerational project which aims to bring different generations together to promote understanding and tolerance in the local community.
The initiative included workshops at Eden Allotment Gardens in which participants learnt about growing their own produce. I took groups on a tour of the allotments, led a practical session on how to plant up raised beds and then everyone enjoyed some well deserved allotment food and drinks in the form of fruit scones, herbal teas and allotment stew! We also held ‘Cook it’ sessions where participants learnt how to cook with fresh, healthy produce using slow cookers.
Then I continued work on the Sunnylands Community Garden with the local nursery and primary school. The nursery group planted cauliflower and onions and planted up onion sets in small pots to take home and look after. The P6 class planted herbs and also some winter flowers.
This was a pilot scheme, so depending on feedback, it could be rolled out to other areas. I think it would be great if it continued as everyone was really enthusiastic, hard-working and enjoyed getting their hands dirty. Great to see.