The Plot and Greenhouse Gardening Club - how Manx Blind Welfare Society helped establish an organic gardening activity for the visually impaired.
A short while ago, a small group of visually impaired people decided they wanted to have a go at gardening and take on responsibility for an allotment plot that had been gifted to the Society by Liz Johnson.
The group formulated a plan and set to work; the idea was to have a place where they could garden in the company of their Guide Dogs.
The plot already had three raised beds and a shed. Some improvements were made, including providing paving, handrails and fencing to assist visually impaired gardeners and visitors. As the plans gathered pace, a further two waist-height beds were acquired and another lower bed installed.
Digging commenced in spring 2015 and seedlings were propagated and planted. The group enjoyed a bumper season in year one, and the gardening went from strength-to-strength, with some gardeners winning awards at the Young Farmers Competition.
The project has enjoyed such success that is has expanded as an activity for visually impaired people in the Isle of Man. The group decided it wanted to grow more plants from seed, but needed an accessible facility to look after the seedlings at times when volunteers were not available to accompany visually impaired gardeners to the allotment.
So, it was decided a greenhouse would be ordered and installed at Corrin Court, the Society's headquarters in Onchan, during 2016.
Now known as The Plot and Greenhouse Gardening Club, members meet each Wednesday at Corrin Court, with visits to the allotment whenever weather and time permits.
The Club would be grateful very grateful to hear from any volunteers who would like to get their hands dirty - and you need to like dogs!
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