With spring under way and summer just around the corner, SkyWay’s young people have been working hard in the Blue Hut Garden. Young people become involved with gardening through our reparation and enterprise programmes and at the Blue Hut youth club. The raised beds, in the shape of a B and an H for Blue Hut, were made in 2012 by young people and have been planted annually with vegetables and herbs. Some great meals have come out of that garden!
There is very little green space in the council estates that surround the Blue Hut. Green spaces are important as they make areas more attractive, reduce pollution, and encourage people to spend time outdoors getting involved in social activities. Urban gardening requires creativity and commitment to nurturing life, and as it is becoming increasingly common to grow food in the cities, there are many exciting enterprise opportunities in urban agriculture. In the Blue Hut’s new kitchen, young people can create meals from the garden’s harvest giving them the opportunity to experience ‘farm to fork’ meals in their local area!
This year, a young person on the reparation programme cleared out the beds, cleaned up litter, and started a compost heap. During the Easter half term a group of young people from the Blue Hut added fresh compost and planted herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Having spent time in the garden last year, they are quite green-fingered and were keen to get the garden growing again! We had another event during the May half- term where young people built a water collection structure to collect rainwater and tended to the plants.
It looks like we’ll have plenty of onions and potatoes this year, and some baby strawberries were spotted! The young gardeners are already starting to plan what they can cook when the produce is ready to harvest! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for strawberry shortcake!
by Mary Mesteller