Rotary club of Burnham Beeches continue project creating library community garden

The Rotary Club of Burnham Beeches has been embarking on an initiative to support and create a community garden at Farnham Common Community Library.

The community project was initially started in February 2020, however, was put on hold following the outbreak out the coronavirus pandemic and only re-started in January 2021.

The garden aims to provide an education to school children in the area, teaching them how fruit and vegetables are grown and the process involved in planting and ‘tending raised beds’.

The project has seen Farnham Common Community Library volunteer Pam Naish, rotary member and project leader Fiona De Luca, rotary member Michael Adigun and friend of the rotary and former member Michael Smeeton undertake several tasks to prepare and create the garden.

These include: clearing the ground and relocating all the plants that were there, laying mesh across the areas and covering it with woodchips.

The raised beds were built by a local master cabinet maker John Jones, while the bench was donated by a family in the community.

Donations of supplies and goods were also made by: James Lovelock of Lovelock Property Services – who also aided the team in removing a root ball, Tony Whittle at Farnham Common Nurseries provided the compost and the woodchips were given by Mark Jaego of M&J Tree Specialists.

Pam added: “We have been running the art and crafts projects for a number of years and pre-COVID-19, had started to use the outdoor area more.

“The children planted seed [and] bulbs [and] watched them grow, watered, picked, tasted and shared them with others, but space was limited.

“In discussion with the library committee the decision was taken to create a library garden for use by the community.”

She added: “The activities in the garden will be linked to the work children do in school.

“As time progresses, we'll create log piles, think about how to recycle materials, create our own compost, perhaps put in a water feature.

“We now have a bench to sit on and hope it will encourage people to come to the library, use the garden and engage with others to enjoy, pick, taste what's grown and contribute to the growing.”

Pam added that most of the planting to get them started is currently ‘hardening off’ in her garden, waiting for the weather to improve and so far they have planted various things including a sunflower, a row of beetroot, strawberries and raspberries, as well as chard, broad bean, spinach and carrot seeds.

“We have provided sunflower, pea and bean seeds for children and families to take home and plant with a view to bringing some back to the library to plant in our garden.

“Once things return to normal, we can work directly with the children and all get planting.”

Fiona said: “The project is aligned with the school curriculum, so it's a learning zone for the children and then the community can pick the vegetables when they are ready.”

Once the beds are planted fully, and the plants have become more established the garden will be officially opened to the community.

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