Eight o’clock on an unseasonably cold, wet and windy May morning and I’m helping unload 500 lettuce from the back of a truck. They are to be the colourful border of the new edible bed in Calverley Victoria Park.
An hour later, we’re joined by a lively and enthusiastic band of merry volunteers from the village’s largest employer, Zenith. They are keen to support Calverley as part of their corporate social responsibility programme and are already sponsoring our rather fine park. It won a gold in the Village in Bloom, you know.
My mate Bev, from the Horticultural Society, secured support from Leeds City Council and the Feed Leeds initiative to replace pretty flowers with pretty tasty vegetables and the Zenith crew became gardeners for the morning.
Two hours later and we were admiring our handiwork, watching the curly kale swaying in the breeze and marvelling at the brightness of the Swiss chard while tucking in to hot bacon butties.
Locals walking through the park stopped to talk, could they help themselves to the veg? Err, no, but hopefully local schools would help with the harvest and take some home for a healthy meal. Ah, but won’t someone half inch the artichokes and nab the sweetcorn? Well, if they eat it rather than scoffing junk food….result!
The Zenith gang will return each week to weed and watch over the bed. Maybe by then it will have stopped raining!