Hello, my name is Louise Povey. I am a guide in Loddon District and I have been working towards my bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE).
My Duke of Edinburgh is broken down into 4 sections, Expedition, Physical, Volunteering and Skills.
For the skills aspect of my DofE course, I decided to do gardening, in particular, growing vegetables and fruits. To achieve this, I have been using one of TATA’s (Twyford Allotment Tenants Association) starter plots on the Hurst Road Allotments in Twyford. After an initial few hours clearing and preparing the 3m by 1.5m plot, I started planting. I decided to plant carrots, potatoes, sweetcorn, peas, broccoli, artichokes, pak choi, beetroot, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and courgette. I did this over several days and thanks to the TATA plots being shared, I was able to utilise some space inside the greenhouse.
After watering every day, I finally saw my plants starting to grow and they are all now growing fast and some are almost ready to pick. Some challenges have been snails and birds but this was easily rectified with netting and broken up eggshells.
I have also, with some help, installed some guttering to the greenhouse leading into the water butt for myself and other TATA members to use.
I have learnt several new skills throughout this process that I have found useful in other areas of my DofE and although I have finished the required hours for this section, I hope to be able to still use the allotment to grow more veg and eventually pick and taste what I’ve been working towards.