I was a little wary of what to make about today because of the heavy dark rain clouds that loomed and hovered overhead, but by the time I arrived at Breightmet the Sun was starting to wake up, making my work in the area a lot more comfortable and easy going. So my work today has consisted of me walking round the estate with a huge bag of fruit bushes, a shovel, and a list of residents who have shown an interest in growing some of their own fruit and vegetables in their gardens and on their drives. As my work is seasonal the jobs I am currently doing are very specific, this week fruit bushes, next week fruit trees.
A helping hand
Having worked in Breightmet last year whilst delivering the Greenroyd gardening project, I got to know a fair few people on the estate, whilst digging in some of the fruit bushes on New Lane this morning I caught up with a few people whom I had got to know last year, one woman asked if I could help her and her family to grow food again this year, whist chatting to her a lad called Jordan who I also met last year walked by, we stopped and chatted and Jordan offered to help me digging in the bushes on the estate, one of the things I remembered about him last year was that he was always keen to help out in any way he was able to, and for his troubles I will am going to give him some of my home grown fruit bushes next week. Whatever the press make up about young people being lazy certainly is not the case with this lad and thousands of others who have left by the wayside because of the mess that a greedy and unregulated banking system has made of the economy.
Fresh fruit for healthy communities
I have mentioned in earlier posts that Breightmet, the area where I am working is technically a food desert, the local shops sell no fresh produce whatsoever, and the nearest supermarket is right on the other side of a very hilly Council estate, making access to this supermarket very difficult for older folk and young Mums struggling up the steep hills with push chairs, there is also issues of ill health because of the knock on effect of food access being difficult, this is precisely why Bolton at Home Manager Tony Cottam has funded this project. Areas such as Breightmet that are quite far away from most amenities, including access to local jobs as well as fresh food suffer as a consequence of their isolation away from the main body of other Bolton suburbs. Breightmet has a close knit community, who are friendly and down to earth, and we believe that this will make our job of creating food access directly out of the soil much easier. So all in all, a good day today, we planted thirty fruit bushes at ten different addresses, and also gleaned some useful information from residents of how we could best help them to grow a high yield of food for their families.