Green for go out­side

The Oban Times - - News -

HOPE 2 OBAN held its first Green Shoots open day of the sea­son on Satur­day at Glen­cruit­ten House’s walled gar­den.

The Green Shoots pro­ject, which started in 2014 near Oban, ‘pro­vides a space for all to de­velop skills and ex­pe­ri­ence the many ben­e­fits associated with be­ing out­side, meet­ing peo­ple, grow­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles, and eat­ing lo­cally grown, healthy pro­duce’, its web­site ex­plains.

Green Shoots co-or­di­na­tor Ca­tri­ona Petit, who runs the pro­ject with her hus­band John, said: ‘We help peo­ple who have spe­cial needs or who are in pe­ri­ods of un­em­ploy­ment. We have ac­tiv­ity agree­ments for peo­ple who leave school as a way into fur­ther work or train­ing.

‘It is based on what peo­ple want to do. Dur­ing the week we make ta­bles and benches out of wood from the wood­lands, build path­ways, they can grow their own veg­eta­bles – it’s re­ally dif­fer­ent ev­ery day of the week. Any com­mu­nity groups can come up for a plot.’

Vis­i­tors are in­vited to an open gar­den day once a month from April to Septem­ber, and an­other at Christ­mas. Last Satur­day chil­dren – and adults – got busy putting straw­berry plants in old welly boots, fol­low­ing a hun­gry cater­pil­lar trail, and en­joy­ing home­made cakes, jam and veg­etable soup from the gar­den.

Pre­vi­ously Oban High School chil­dren and vol­un­teers from the Lorne Re­source Cen­tre had built a sculp­ture in front of a new ‘herb spi­ral’ made of slate, and else­where in the gar­den were a wormery and com­post­ing toi­let.

Green Shoots re­cently re­ceived £12,000 from Tesco’s Bags for Life cam­paign to add an­other poly tun­nel and im­prove dis­abled ac­cess. The web­site in­vites: ‘It is a gar­den for all so if you have ideas or would like to use the gar­den then please get in touch. The fu­ture of the gar­den is im­mensely ex­cit­ing.’

Maisie Ed­wards, front, and Ar­ran MacGre­gor planted straw­ber­ries, helped by Ca­tri­ona Petit.

Joanne Wat­son and her one-year- old niece Ruby Bul­lock.

Ca­tri­ona Petit with Ceitidh Garvin, nine, dec­o­rat­ing slates.

Ros McFar­lane, left, with Anna Ain­scough and sons Wes­ley, one, and Fin­lay, four.

A colour­ful brick and boot sculp­ture with the new slate ‘herb spi­ral’ be­hind.

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