It is barely a year since Greenlight Gateway was successful in securing £60,000 in The People’s Millions to develop Space2Grow in Ballycastle.
Thanks to the support of The Big Lottery and also our own local Moyle District Council, the work to develop the site on Leyland Road is well underway and will be officially opened on Saturday June 2nd with a massive community party and Olympic festival.
As Ann McIlroy, the Director of Greenlight recalls: “We were all so thrilled to have the support of so many thousand local people who phoned and made a real difference for the young people and adults with learning disabilities who have real and meaningful work here at Greenlight.
“We are especially grateful to our funders as well as Moyle Enterprise Company for their support also. This is a golden opportunity to create a very special ‘community growing space’, in a space that has been unused and neglected for many years. It is well known that there is a huge rise in interest in ‘growing your own’ and all the benefits of digging and planting one’s own garden. All the more so when people can do this together, learning from each other, sharing a laugh and also learning how to grow, cook and use the produce that is made.”
The great news is that the new Allotment Garden at Space2Grow is ready to go and the plots are now available on a first come, first served basis.
Lorraine McCook, Manager of Space2Grow is very excited at the prospects of welcoming up to 16 new allotment plot growers in the coming weeks. As Lorraine says: “You do not have to be an expert grower, or even an experienced gardener to have an allotment. Our garden is designed into a space with 6 metre x 2.7 metre plots along with smaller 3 metre X 2.7 metre plots.
“The allotment garden is laid out around a shared circular lawn and fruit area, with excellent paths throughout, plenty of water and composting areas and there is a communal shared shed for tools and the very important cup of tea.
“For just £26.00 a quarter or £2.00 a day for the larger plots you will have your own keys and access during daylight hours seven days a week to dig, grow and chat with some new friends in a lovely community setting.
“We will be excited to share our experience and also learn from our new growers and we will also be stocking a huge range of vegetables, fruit and herbs to get our growers started as well for the general public. We have also stocked up on vegetable transplants and very best seeds and are working with Sutton Seeds, as well as our other suppliers to bring the highest quality of seeds and plants to Space2Grow.
“So we are certainly open for business in these coming weeks, and looking forward to our new Country Kitchen Coffee shop opening soon. Easter is just around the corner, and we have some top quality trees and shrubs and beautiful plants in stock. We believe the Easter Bunny will be back with us on Saturday 7 April and we will have egg hunts and fun and games for all ages through the day. So If anyone is interested in finding out more about what we are up to or to take on an allotment we have information packs and details available at Space2Grow and we will be delighted to show folk around and get you signed up and digging as soon as possible.”
William Smylie, from Ballycastle, one of the young adults trainees, is very excited about all the new activity.
“I have been painting fences and helping to get everything ready for the allotments and the new Country Kitchen Coffee Shop, and can’t wait to try out this new Fresh Air Gym,” he said.
William is very modest as he has been doing most of his work for the last weeks with one arm in a sling, not hurt at work we hasten to add. William, like the many other adults and trainees at Greenlight Gateway are an inspiration to us all, for their enthusiasm and sheer grit.
So like the adults and young trainees at Greenlight Gateway, If you think you can dig it - Don’t lose the plot and call up to Space2Grow or contact them on 02820761110 or via Facebook, for all the information you require about The Space2Grow Allotment Gardens.