Hiya! This is more of a life update, than a plant or garden update, hence the title. But hopefully it will explain why itself.
Life is pretty crazy right now, firstly I get married in less than two weeks!! Just last month I successfully finished and passed my Level 3 Counselling course which I started last year. Now, well in September, I start the final two years of Level 4 training at a new college. We are also in the process of hopefully buying a stunning smallholding with land for a poly tunnel (eeekkk!!), pigs and chickens. Just last week we sold our narrowboat home too. So we are currently in between places with no real home, which throws up many complexities both physically and mentally.
If I’m totally honest I struggle with not having a proper home, I like consistency and my own haven where I always feel safe. I’m not sure if this is just my personality, trauma related or part of my suspected autism (currently awaiting assessment). I get all out of sorts, is the only way I can describe it, my anxiety heightens and I have a big need to find other little safe, super quiet spaces anywhere I can. Hopefully it won’t be too long and we will have this forever home smallholding, but house buying is definitely stressful. I definitely don’t recommend doing it whilst also expanding your organisation and planning a wedding. But, I also wouldn’t change how we are doing it, so who knows.
Towcester allotments and therapy garden
On the subject of Life at No.27 expanding, we have recruited two new members of the team who will be based at our allotment and therapy gardens in Towcester!! A wonderful mental health counsellor, and also a incredibly knowledgeable gardener, teacher and student of horticultural therapy! I will introduce you to them very shortly, as soon as I have photos of their smiley faces.
This fantastic duo will be supporting our adult allotment holders and running the after school club children’s sessions, whilst I start to focus on our next site and expanding our services wider.
I must say a huge thank you to West Northamptonshire Council who generously are funding both of these roles for this year! As well as the recruitment of a Fundraising Manager! Get in touch if you are interested in this one day a week role starting asap.
We are nearly at capacity with all our services in Towcester, with just 1 allotment available currently. It’s been and is fantastic to see many new people join us over the last few months, who have bravely got in touch and now really value and benefit from the support, guidance and safe outside space we offer.
Schools are currently on their Summer holiday break, but until then I was supporting four individuals across two schools in the county, with weekly 1-1 sessions. Teaching them how to grow their own food, express their emotions safely and improve concentration. As well as relax and release any negative energies through outdoor exercise and sensory games.
Due to demand, I am also in the process of recruiting another mental health professional and horticultural therapist to specifically work with children across the county from September 2022. If you think you may be suitable for this role, definitely get in touch.
With running our sites, school programmes and organisation management single-handedly until now, alongside everything else; it’s meant that I have helped so many people learn to grow their first produce, but gardening for myself has certainly taken a back seat unfortunately. All my pots and hundreds of plants that were by the narrowboat have been moved to safety but are not nearby. Luckily I have someone fantastic looking after them! On my own mini allotment and in the work poly tunnel I managed to successfully grow some perennial kale cuttings though, some peas, beans, potatoes and dahlias. Nothing compared to past years, but it’s something that I’m still really proud of.
I’m really excited for next years growing season already because hopefully if all goes to plan it will be my biggest growing year yet! Keep your fingers crossed please and as soon as we complete on the sale, I will share photos and more details with you.
Ta for now,