• Adam’s monthly Blog – April at the Henley allotment

    An image of Adam, Autism at Kingwood Gardening Coordinator


    April has been both an exciting and slightly testing month at the Henley Project. Everyone is looking forward to the warmer weather and we have had some really nice sunny days this month when nobody wants to go home! We are really starting to see great progress on the growing side of things despite a sizable setback.

    The unexpected snow fall this month meant a number of our cucumbers and tomatoes perished despite being inside and fleece covered. Luckily we’ve been able to replant more and we also overplanted initially so an adequate number survived, PHEW!

    We have a pair of blue tits who have taken up residence in one the next boxes made by a person we support. They are wonderful to watch as they build their nest and everyone is enjoying having them on site.

    Ben continues to be such an asset to the project and is very dedicated. This month he has done some more painting of fences, cleared snow from paths, planted and sown seeds both in his bed and for the poly tunnel, kept the grass neatly mown and helped organise compost bins. Ben will often find himself little jobs to do like moving stuff around or sweeping and is always very clear if there is something he doesn’t want to do.

    K popped into see everyone and did some more woodworking and he wanted to do some gardening too. As he can’t commit to a regular slot I offered him the option of growing in a pot. He was very happy with this option and has some potatoes, strawberries and garlic on the go.

    The site remains in great condition and is really coming to life. In three weeks’ time any serious threat of frosts should be gone and we can get stuff out of the poly tunnel and into the ground.

    With lockdown easing, we have some spaces for people we support to attend the allotment and have reached out to all Support Managers, inviting their services to give it a try.

    I also have arranged for a mother and toddler group to visit this month as a trial.

    We are running a ‘tallest sunflower’ competition, on site or at home. I can provide everything needed to start people off and staff are welcome to partake too. I am also considering a group trip to an RHS garden this summer as well as BBQs on site.

    As yet we have had no takers for the mindfulness sessions but this can remain an option for as and when requested.

    We are all looking forward to summer!

    Abi Cowley

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