Winter is a time for planning …

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
― Benjamin Franklin

During January and February all of the Growing Ability Groups have been focusing on planning and laying the foundations for the year ahead. Taking advantage of the wintery weather conditions and shorter days, we have been reflecting on what has gone well last year, and on what we would like to achieve this year, both in the garden and in our personal lives. We have asked ourselves why we have perhaps not been able to achieve some goals in the past, leading on to what we can do to achieve them in the future. We are then able to make specific steps towards our goals.

Members of Growing Health have been focusing on how to improve their health and well-being: setting goals and planning how they will achieve them. This might be losing weight, learning a new skill, or exercising more. Each goal is broken down into smaller tasks, considering how they can be met, when, and what support we will need. Reflecting on the past year, we have identified that several members of Growing Health have successfully lost weight. These members have considered which extra activities they do ie. football, and planned their meals accordingly. It has been apparent that members who have planned their menus have lost more weight than those who didn’t.

Members of Growing Gang had success last year, building new beds for their new allotment plot. We wrote an action plan and as a result we were able to break down what seemed to be an impossible task, into achievable steps. This has resulted in members having a great sense of achievement, with increased self-esteem and confidence.

Members of Growing Ability who planned what they wanted to grow last year, were successful with producing crops of potatoes, butternut squash, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes and kale. Last year’s planning started in winter when members checked over their tools and equipment and then planned and carried out any necessary repairs. They were then required to tidy plots, plan what they wanted to grow, browse seed catalogues and order seeds, bulbs and tubers. Looking to the growing season, they needed to consider the warmer months i.e. who would look after the plots if they were away. At the end of the season they made plans for what to do with the harvest.

This year groups are planning what to grow based on what they want to cook and eat. Different recipes have been made throughout the year in order to find the vegetables, fruit and herbs we like to eat and that can be used to make delicious nutritious meals, which will lead to healthier diets. This will be the result of good planning throughout the year.