Community effort helps garden scheme

Pictured getting down to some work in the YM garden this week are (from left) youth workers Lucy Clarke, Mo Dickson, Terry Hadden and Val Cooper with Amy Ferguson.'Staff photograph

Pictured getting down to some work in the YM garden this week are (from left) youth workers Lucy Clarke, Mo Dickson, Terry Hadden and Val Cooper with Amy Ferguson.'Staff photograph

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THE MONTROSE community and local businesses have rallied round to help Montrose YM whip its new garden into shape as part of its bid for self-sufficiency.

Although the project has been hampered this summer due to near constant rain, the youngsters and staff are making the most of what windows in the weather there are to work on the garden on Strathmore Place which they acquired last summer.

They were helped considerably in their efforts recently by GlaxoSmithKline staff during one of their Orange Day community volunteering sessions, who turned out in force to help tidy and dig over the ground and also donated a number of raised beds which will be used for vegetable cultivation.

Part of the aim of starting the garden is to supply homegrown fruit and vegetables for the YM’s community cafe and Montrose Academy pupils, working in the cafe’s kitchen as part of the school’s and YM’s joint ‘Cook It’ hospitality and cooking course, were also involved and provided lunch for the workers.

YM manager Val Cooper said the support from all quarters has been encouraging and welcome.

She said: “We had a great day and staff worked from about 8am to 5pm and the manpower was the most important aspect. We had 12 men and women who worked constantly, which was brilliant.

“We had two of the boys on the ‘Cook It’ programme who provided food and drink for the coffee breaks and lunch, which went down very well. We also managed to get a small shed, supplied by Keyline, in place and an Alpine garden built that the kids had designed themselves so we owe them a huge thank you.

“The Rotary Club also gave us a cheque for £200 towards the cost of a polytunnel and Community Constable Ricky Martin has negotiated a donation of seed potatoes from Grampian Growers. We also had help from some of the academy first years who were in for a couple of days working towards their Dynamic Youth Awards.

“Quite a number of local people have also handed in tools and plant cuttings. Unfortunately, the weather has been horrendous and we’ll probably miss the best of the season.”

The 3,000 square foot site is being used not only as a horticultural resource but also an educational one, promoting healthy eating and providing hands-on gardening and landscaping experience and the next step will be to set up the raised beds, which will be cared for by the children. Part of the garden will also be left wild to encourage insects and birds and seating installed for neighbours to enjoy the surroundings.