By Sol Harmsworth, Kitchen Garden Enterprise Programme Manager
Week four of lockdown, and as I prepare my sandwiches and travel to the gardens in the warm spring sunshine, I feel really grateful that I’m no longer forcing myself out of bed to go to work in the cold dark mornings. It’s been a wet, hard winter for the Kitchen Garden Enterprise, but we pushed through, keeping on top of the tasks that we knew would prepare us for the spring launch into our flower and veg growing cycle.
Every morning, I arrive at the garden and soak up the tranquillity. Only a few people are out, working on their allotments and although we are far apart from one another, we wave and smile and send the occasional shout of encouragement in what is surely the craziest of times. I think about how, as much as I love the peace of the gardens, I miss the buzz of the regular groups and volunteers who make our enterprise such a joyful place to be.
The warm weather encourages new shoots and buds and every morning, more blossoms appear, and the gardens feel expectant with the promise of beauty and life. I’m so excited as we have just learned that we’ve been awarded a place on the School for Social Entrepreneurs Community Trade Up programme. This will be a game changer for the KGE supporting us to launch our social enterprise and to become a vibrant and sustainable initiative within the community.
At the beginning of the year a new puppy came into my life and she’s been a regular at the KGE ever since. I have to keep an eye on her as she does like to dig up the onions when I’m not looking and I’ve had to completely banish her from the polytunnels to stop her face-planting in the herb beds, but I’m so happy I got her before the lockdown as she’s hilarious and great company as I get on with my tasks every day. Excited as I am about this time in the Kitchen Garden Enterprise, I’m really looking forward to the day when we can open our doors again, and be surrounded by the community, enjoying a mug of tea in the sunshine in the company of friends.