As of this month (February), local residents and park visitors can sign up for a weekly selection of local veg, available to collect from the park every Thursday, including produce grown at Woodbank itself!
Woodbank Nursery, located close to the Park Lane entrance on the south side of the park, has just become a pick-up point for Veg Box People, already supplying locally-grown organic vegetables to over two hundred Greater Manchester residents.
The launch of the bag scheme forms part of the Nursery’s ongoing rejuvenation, which, under the management of social enterprise The Kindling Trust, has seen the launch of a new community garden, a training scheme for new commercial-scale veg growers, and the arrival of Glebelands, a market garden business producing organic salad and veg for the region’s independent shops and cafes.
For the local community, the site has sprung back to life with events, courses and open days based around food, environment and meeting new people. It now also plays host to a pioneering social prescribing project that combines veg bags with cookery, socialising and food growing. The ‘More than Medicine’ programme is delivered in partnership with local GP’s surgery Alvanley Family Practice, Bracondale GP Surgery and the Starting Point Community Learning partnership.
Corrina Low of The Kindling Trust, who co-ordinates many of the activities at Woodbank Nursery, explains:
“The desire to access local, fresh veg is something we’ve heard a lot from participants across the whole range of activities we run at Woodbank. So in response, we’ve worked together with our sister enterprise Veg Box People to make the Nursery a place to buy organic veg as well as growing it! Veg bags are available from the community hub along with a cuppa and a chat on Thursdays, any time between 9.30-11am or 3.30-6.30pm ”.
Having already trialled the bag scheme, More than Medicine participants are likely to be amongst the new collection hub’s first customers. Participant George Hands describes taking home his first weekly veg bag:
“I set about almost immediately peeling, chopping, cooking, then boxing them into my special one-meal containers… it did present me with a super collection of one-man meals”.
Weekly bags are available in a variety of sizes to suit different households, and can be ordered now from Veg Box People at vegboxpeople.org.uk (sign up on site if you need access to a computer), for collection from the Nursery every Thursday afternoon.
“As Spring approaches, weekend community gardening sessions will re-start at the Nursery, and we’ll launch our spring and summer events programme. Whether folk are interested in the veg bags or something else, we’d love people to drop in on a Thursday afternoon to say hello, see the garden and find out more about what the site has to offer!! Or just keep an eye on the Nursery gates by the Park Lane entrance for notice of upcoming events”.
Corrina Low, The Kindling Trust