Ecotherapy: People with mental health problems growing vegetables on a lawn!!

January 6, 2011

in Nature, health and well being, Other organisations, Vegetables

Ecotherapy in action

All my articles, videos and work are funded by my teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries.

When working as a tutor for the Warrington Collegiate Institute, I was asked to teach people with mental health problems living at Lea Court nursing home in Warrington, managed by Alternative Futures.  After speaking with the manager, I persuaded him to give up this section of the lawn.

From an underused lawn…..

He was only too glad as it saved it having to be mown!!!! I was, with my new students, about to give the tired old piece of lawn, a new life!

From lawn to……

Beautifully grown organic vegetables!!!!!! Grown by the residents of Lea Court, with a little help!!!

A bountiful harvest full of life, zest and colour!!

Potatoes, radish, lettuce, salad crops, onions and garlic were grown on what used to be the lawn!!

In most cases, depending upon the soil, I use a no-dig raised bed system of gardening. Otherwise its back to the good old double dig system. The beds were made by the residents themselves from wood……

Simple wooden framed beds laid on the lawn

The next stage was to rid the beds of any perennial weeds, particularly dandelions in a lawn, then the beds had to be filled. I like to use composted vegetable waste to grow vegetables in….and these students were eager to get on with the growing and filling of the beds!!

Look what we’ve made !

This student particularly like using the wheelbarrow to transport the compost from the large pile outside the front door in the car park and tipping it into the beds! Great fun!

Can I go and get some more compost now? !

Last few loads…..Planting time is fast approaching..!

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