This year there’s going to be a glut of delicious vegetables at a vocational learning centre in Broadclyst, thanks to Otter Garden Centres.
The garden centre in Ottery St Mary donated a box chock full of packets of seeds after MD Jacqui Taylor received a request from Heathfield Farm Project Manager, Karen Adamson.
Karen explained: “We were getting ready to plant the seeds we already had when there was a mishap - and we lost the lot.
“I’ve known Jacqui for some years, so she was my first port of call. Fortunately for us, she was extremely happy to help out.”
Heathfield Farm, which is a charity, provides learning opportunities for vulnerable young people with learning disabilities, autism and Asperger’s. The gifted seeds, which include sweetcorn, swede, carrots, broad beans and peas, will support a variety of learning skills, from planting and nurturing to making chutneys and jams for consumption or sales.
Karen says that growing plants from seeds fits perfectly with the aims of the farm to give young people employment skills and life skills. Other activities include woodworking, making troughs, trugs and bird tables to order.
The centre is based on 33 acres of land owned by the Killerton Estate. A new partnership with Devon Wildlife Trust will see 10,000 trees grown on the site each year. There are also longer-term plans for the centre have a café and farm shop where the produce can be used and sold.
The seeds were handed over to the team by Otter Garden Centre’s Marketing Manager, Chris Amphlett. She said: “We’re delighted to help out; the growing facilities at Heathfield Farm are very impressive. We look forward to seeing the seeds flourish into full grown plants.”
Later in the season, Otter will also be contributing surplus plug plants for use in Heathfield Farm’s new sensory garden.
Find out more about Heathfield Farm: https://heathfieldfarm.org/