Healthy Living with Plant and Share
Keighley Healthy Living hold an ‘outdoor conversation café’ each week for anyone in the community who feels lonely or isolated, who have extra needs or who are living with mental health conditions. This outdoor café has been vital to community members who have come every week throughout winter. The team have sat outside with people, wrapped up against the elements, with an odd bout of Yorkshire sunshine.
The arrival of spring felt like the right time to add some activities to the café, which is where Plant and Share Month comes in. One session has been run already, starting by colouring in posters – one of which has pride of place in the community centre doorway. Zoe, pictured, was happy as it was her first time outside after shielding and she told us, “I was anxious about coming today and when you said colouring in as a grown-up can be relaxing, I wasn’t so sure, but this is!”
Karen said filling in the poster “Puts me in the moment, I’m not worrying about anything else, except what colour to choose next.”
Colouring in together sparked conversations about what people had grown in the past and childhood stories about being on allotments. One person broke off a sprig of rosemary from a nearby plant and everyone squashed pieces between their fingers and talked about the smell and what you could cook with rosemary. When we talked about growing something next week, a few people were a bit worried that they lived in flats and had no garden and we’re so pleased when we talked about our little pots of kindness being able to grow on windowsills.
Donna said, “When I get home, I’m going to see which window sill gets the most sunlight for the plant we plant next week, and I might go find a little watering can”.
The group also talked about how we might share the edible plants we plant together. Ideas included sharing plants in their Healthy Living Garden, sharing with other members in the group and children who attend holiday sessions, and using the produce in the cafe - perhaps baking herb bread or tomato salsa.
Rebecca, who leads the group, said, “I’m not a big gardener but that the resources you’ve provided me with have given me the confidence to include growing in the café and today that theme really complimented the delicious beetroot brownies we shared over a warm cuppa!”
Feeling inspired? Find out more about how you can get involved with Plant and Share Month.