Belong Maccesfield, on Kennedy Avenue, opened its gardens to members of the local community as part of National Allotments Week. The Belong kitchen gardens are tended to by people living in the care village, visiting Experience Day customers and Belong staff. Fruit and vegetables cultivated in Belong Macclesfield and harvested during allotments week will be served in themed special dishes in the village Bistro throughout August.
Gardening not only serves to provide homegrown food for people living within the village, it also provides a focus for social interactions and an opportunity to engage in gentle exercise. A Gardening Club for residents meets at Belong Macclesfield every Friday afternoon, from 2:45pm until 3:15pm. The club has been running for over two years, under the supervision of Philip Shaw, founder of Fork-2-Plate, a local business aimed at helping people to grow and cook their own food in Cheshire, and a member of the community group, Food4Macc, which aims to have more food produced locally in Macclesfield.
Caroline Ray, General Manager for Belong Macclesfield, said: “There has been great interest in our ‘home grown’ project, both from those who have had a lifelong interest in gardening to residents just looking to get involved in a new hobby or spend more time outdoors.
“I’ve seen so many wonderful foods coming into our kitchens, from lettuces and beans to fresh strawberries and raspberries. It gives us great satisfaction to eat fruit and vegetables that we’ve grown ourselves.”