Six new Master Gardener volunteers have joined the Croydon network. The volunteers, who had their two-day Induction Training on March 5th and 6th, will be helping Croydon residents to start growing food.
They can offer free advice and support to people who want to learn to grow veg and fruit. This can be at home, or in a community garden in the borough.
We met at the Old Town Youth Club, on Duppas Hill, and started the weekend off with getting to know each other with discovering what had brought each person to offer their time and expertise to help others.
Then it was down to “selling” the benefits of seeds to each other – with some interesting examples including round crystal apple cucmbers and globe carrots.
After that volunteers learned about their role and how Garden Organic will support them as they go about volunteering. All Master Gardeners get a manual, free start-up packs for their supported growers, polo shirt and fleece, an encyclopadia, organic growing guidelines, seeds, factsheetss and more. They are also supported by a project officer and have regular In-Service training and social meet-ups.
The new volunteers were soon making plans to take the food-growing message into the community at events around the borough, so look out for them in thier distinctive black polo shirts and green jackets.
We had a treat from Master Gardener Kaysen on the Sunday morning. A keen juicer, Kaysen made us delicious, heathy drinks from veg, fruit and herbs – just what we needed to start the morning off properly!
Then trainer Anton, from Garden Organic, took us through five organic messages, before we looked at simple and low-cost ways to break down the barriers to growing.
Once again we were lucky enough to have lunch provided by the great cooks at Mum’s the Chef. We enjoyed chick pea curry, potatoes with tamarind and rice with cabbage on Saturday and roasted pepper hummus, falafel wraps and bulghur salad on the Sunday. Thanks again, Sahara, for the beautiful food.
Master Gardeners are part of Croydon’s Food Flagship programme and will be helping and encouraging people to grow delicious, organic food and enjoy the open-air benefits of gardening and growing. The programme supports local people to cook and grow more healthy food in Croydon. New growers can be referred into the programme by a variety of agencies and organisations, please contact co-ordinator Liza for a referral form and more information.
Croydon Food Flagship is transforming how we think about eating and growing healthy food in the borough. More information here
We’re also looking for volunteer Food Buddies! If you love healthy, home-grown food and enjoy sharing that passions and enthusiasm with you local community, please get in touch. Once-day training in Spring 2016.
Feedback from the Training Weekend
Thanks again for the weekend’s training, it was really enjoyable and informative.
Far exceeded what I was expecting.
Very informative course. Good to meet and get to know the other MGs
Key messgaes were joy, hope and possibility
Take action, share, inspire, educate.