National Allotments Week: Shefford youngsters get fingers green in Make it Grow project

Ronnie and Tommy King, aged nine and six, get the watering cans out. Picture: Aragon

Ronnie and Tommy King, aged nine and six, get the watering cans out. Picture: Aragon - Credit: Archant

A housing association has been marking National Allotments Week with a gardening project for youngsters in Shefford.

Ronnie King, nine, with his pumpkin. Picture: Aragon

Ronnie King, nine, with his pumpkin. Picture: Aragon - Credit: Archant

The allotment project, called Make it Grow, is being run by Aragon Housing Association as part of its youth involvement work in the town – and is openg to young people aged from six to 18.

This is Aragon’s second such scheme, with another two-plot project off Arlesey’s Stotfold Road. All produce is taken home and eaten by the families, or given to carers in community cafés or other families.

Karen King’s nine-year-old son Ronnie and six-year-old Tommy are among the kids who have enjoyed getting their fingers green.

She said: “It’s great teaching the boys where their food comes from. They’re learning to look after the different plants and water them.

Six-year-old Tommy King watering the strawberries. Picture: Aragon

Six-year-old Tommy King watering the strawberries. Picture: Aragon - Credit: Archant


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“They love being outside and getting involved – as well as helping with cooking and eating the produce when we get it home.”

Aragon youth and community participation officer Nicola King said the youngsters and their families helped to dig, sow seeds, water seedlings and pick the produce – including cabbages, carrots, potatoes, marrows, strawberries and much more.

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She added: “It’s a great way to encourage friendships and teamwork, as well as getting young people socialising out in the fresh air.

“We’d love more young people to get involved – and because the Shefford allotment plot is on raised beds, it has excellent disabled access too.”

National Allotments Week is held annually by the National Allotment Society, and is this year from August 14 to 20.

The Shefford project’s supporters include experienced gardener Trevor Bailey, 66, who works as a volunteer alongside the families on the allotment.

He said: “Being a volunteer gets me out of the house a few times a week meeting some lovely people.

“I had my own gardening business for over 40 years and can now use my experience to help others.”

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