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Community Growing Improves Wellbeing

Community Growing Improves Wellbeing

What does one do with a legacy? Well, there are many options, and it can be hard to decide at the best of times. But, here at Vine Road Recreation Ground, also known as Vine Road Park, we’ve been fortunate to inherit a green space to grow a community through planting and cropping of vegetables and flowers, writes our Community Growing Lead Volunteer, Rashadee Miller.

It is, therefore, our vision to see our local green space at Vine Road Recreation Ground providing recreational opportunities which will help decrease isolation, and, most importantly, to help improve self-esteem, promote wellbeing and lifelong learning for all ages.

Food has always been a core part to celebrations and social events. It embodies eloquence and happiness that are immeasurable and lasting in memories.  Hence, to achieve a sense of community through growing, we gratify individuals, groups, families, and volunteers interacting, learning and building friendships, while capturing our rich diversity from our local communities.

Our Community Project has helped lower stress both through the pandemic and since then, as we gradually gravitate to some normality. Thus it offers mental health benefits and supports social wellbeing, as it provides a space to unwind. And, as a type of low impact exercise, it could improve individual physical health. Some activities involved are sowing seeds, turning composts, transplanting seedlings and creating childrens’ tables and benches from upcycled materials, to name a few.

Further, it isn’t only people who can benefit, but we are also mindful of our local biodiversity. Recognising this importance, we sow and plant not just for food, but to attract wildlife and pollinators. So, do look out for our sunflower highways, wildflower patches and companion plants amongst our vegetables and hedges.

Reducing food waste is paramount, in particular with recent price increases. And here at Vine Road Recreation Ground we are fortunate to have robust composting systems to help us turn grown waste into nutritious soil, which then in turn is used to improve soil health and producing healthier foods.

Our Community Growing Project also provides volunteering opportunities on varying levels and aims to hold social events throughout the year. What our community has achieved to date is just a nugget and will require consistent engagement and learning. So, should you have the passion to be part of this wonderful community, please do get in touch with us at [email protected].