Wednesday 2 May 2018

Companions learn to grow their own food


A group of Emmaus Village Carlton companions have been busy boosting their skill sets and learning about organic food growing, carpentry and nutrition.

The training took place over six weeks here at Emmaus Village Carlton, and was part of Green Skills Community Food, an employment training course run by community charity Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire. The course gives people the chance to gain practical experience through working on a project, as well as enhancing their future job prospects.

The group learnt about the theory of food growing, and had the opportunity to get their hands dirty by nurturing their own plants. The training also covered carpentry skills, such as constructing raised beds, and nutritional tips for bringing produce from the garden to the plate.

Their new skills have opened up the future possibility of Emmaus Village Carlton growing food for use in our charity’s popular on-site bistro.

I have been impressed with the level of teamwork in the group and how excited they are to learn and cultivate the garden, each of them bringing their own life experience and skills. They have been researching in their own time and building elaborate compost bins in-between sessions. One of the participants has even shown a passion for composting the waste created at Emmaus, to turn the large amount of waste into a valuable resource for the garden.”

 James Bonner, Groundwork’s Project Officer

Groundwork will continue to support the group throughout the season to help them grow as much healthy organic produce as possible. Groundwork will also be growing wildflowers at the site to encourage insects to pollinate the vegetable and fruit plants.

We have a large site here, with lots of green space. Our companions have really enjoyed the course and have gained important skills, as well as a newfound confidence outdoors. We hope their green-fingers will encourage everyone here to get involved and help our charity make good use of the land, with organic food growing a great first step.”

Emmaus Village Carlton’s Community Director Angela Foll

Going forward Groundwork will support the group with their plan to supply the community with fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as selling vegetable boxes, herbs and plants to customers who visit, to make the garden part of our local community. The site may also become an attraction for the local area, as we look to introduce a ‘wildlife walk’ for our visitors.