Shettleston Community Growing Project

Graham helping out at our Family Fun Day

"Having Sandy there on call with his wealth of information was amazing. He was always exceptionally chatty, welcoming, approachable and gave me full access to his gardener’s brain and knowledge. As well as answering technical questions, he was also really great at getting me to think about problems and come up with my own solutions rather than just always give me the answers; a style of learning I personally, always respond to best.

"People in the project were really willing to pass on and share their information to. If anyone had a tip about growing carrots better they would share this, rather than keep it to themselves, which was great. We would regularly pop into other people’s plots for a look and pickup lots of tips and practical skills. At the end of the night I would always walk home with a rucksack full of goodies and a head full of stories. Any excess food  – herbs, celery, turnips or whatever excess people had grown was always very generously offered around. On the train back home on a Tuesday I would often get funny looks, stinking of celery and herbs, covered in dirt with carrot tops growing out my rucksack.               

"On our breaks, when we stopped what we were doing to congregate around the Fisherman’s kettle and Tunnocks tea cakes, we had some great chats, got to know each other and shared aspects of our lives with each other – good and bad. This was a real highlight for me, as there was a real mix of people, ages and backgrounds and it was just really healthy to share our experiences over a cuppa in a lovely garden. People would bring friends, family members and children into the Garden, so I got to know people in the local community and how they all linked in together. Being in a nice space, with a friendly bunch of people, focused on food growing but getting to know each other at the same time was just great. All our lives can be tough and when things don’t go so well, it’s always good to share our experiences, which is something we very much did at the garden.

"The connection between the community garden and mental health is a very clear one for all to see. I saw frowns turned upside down every Tuesday!!!"

This is what Graham grew between June and December 2015: 9 beetroot, 12 spring onions, 3 cabbages, 6 leeks, 4 Romanesco broccoli, 16 carrots, 10 small pumpkins and 1 large pumpkin, 14 gherkins, at least 100 French runner beans, 4 enormous celery plants, 3 Brussel sprout plants, loads of kale, huge amount of parsley and huge amount of lettuce