11 January 2022

Ardnaclowney Planting Project 2021

What was the Planting Project?

Last year Habinteg Housing Association welcomed us to their Ardnaclowney Scheme in North Belfast to help the tenants with their planting project, the tenants came together to take part in some socially distanced outdoor planting activities. The tenants were excited to take part as some in attendance had not left their apartment home for over a year, some speaking to people face-to-face for the first time due to Covid-19. They were happy to take part in this fun activity and to try something new.

Our creation department supplied and fitted raised planters for Habinteg and we organised Ann McCarron, Community Horticulturist, to attend with vegetable seeds and to show and help the residents grow their own vegetables. This is the first of 3 planned visits, Ann will go back and check how everything is growing and then again when harvesting rather than this activity just being a once off activity, we thought this approach was more meaningful and encourage the tenants to follow up with their planting. We were hoping to leave the tenants with new knowledge and encourage them to take part in more outdoor planting activities while also providing an enjoyable experience and a beautiful outdoor area for them to catch up at or even to relax and get some fresh air.

How are the tenant's plants now?

A few months later idverde visited Habinteg’s Ardnaclowney House Scheme again to check out what the tenants had been growing in their raised beds and planters – there was everything from cabbage, spring onion, tomatoes, French beans, sage, corn plants and strawberries. We are glad to say that this area has now become a focal point for tenants to meet and discuss how things are growing and to catch up outdoors.

Ann McCarron said “We had a great morning planting up the raised bed with the residents at Habinteg Ardnaclowney. The bed is now packed full of tomatoes courgettes, cucumbers, beans and salads to name a few. These will grow brilliantly outside in the full sun of their shelter courtyard. Looking forward to seeing them harvest their crops in a couple of months.”

We will be back soon to visit the tenants and to discuss how we can help clear the bed and prep it for our next spring sowing, allowing  another opportunity for the tenants to improve their planting skills and for another enjoyable experience!