Posts Tagged ‘Grow’

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Grow : Wellbeing in Nature…

21/11/2017

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For eight weeks – from August to October – I had the incredible privilege of participating on a course of consecutive Thursdays spent in beautiful South Downs countryside.  It was the twentieth ‘season’ of the Grow Project’s wellbeing in Nature courses, known affectionately by all as Grow20.  This highly-effective immersion in ‘the green’ was hugely beneficial for my mental health; as a person with Asperger Syndrome, being out in the expansive space made relating with others much easier.

These courses have been funded and supported by several partner organisations: the National Trust, University of Brighton,  South Downs National Park Authority, the City’s Council – and Big Lottery Fund.  They are based at National Trust-owned Saddlescombe Farm and facilitated by Grow’s paid and volunteer workers, by NT rangers and the tenant sheep farmers, Camilla & Roly: on the farm, in the garden and orchard; out and about on the Downs; in community gardens in Brighton & Hove, including at Stanmer Park Organics – and also most-ably facilitated by all in the sharing of ‘potluck’ food together!

I hope that the fotomosaic images in the slideshow below, and the writings – that formed a part of my eight weeks’ journalling – will give a flavour of this special ‘season’ and the en-joy-ment that it brought to all…

Henrietta begat Coriander:
Pet Lambs Acrostic
 
SddlscmbSheepinPen0917Hay bales
Egg-laying
Nettles sting
Russet/carrot salad
Intention cards
Ewe’s udder
Testing teats…
Tractors: great & small
“Away!” sheepdog call

Barn owl pellet
English mutton/lamb
Garden picnic
Apples-to-go
Trolley stops-in-van

Cocoa ‘n’ date treat
Orange nasturtiums
Roly’s & Freddie’s farm
Intelligent creatures
Ant on to-do card
New ‘clan’ buddies
Dew pond photo
Edible flowers
Roof chorus grouse
[No! they were guinea fowl…]

(and, if I remember rightly, Henrietta was grandmother sheep to lamb, Coriander)

After an afternoon of ‘hurricane season’ cloud-watching on the Downs, I spent a week writing a haiku per day – based on that afternoon and the weather outside my east Brighton windows…

Weather Consciousness Haikus
 

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not-so-Andy-Goldsworthy wild art ‘Dungmobile’ – it moves with the wind!

Cloudscape bonanza:
Sun hat off and rain hood up;
Beech trees umbrella.

Blue-shirted school boys’
Astro-turf footie tempered
By the cloudless sky…

Breeze whips cumulous
Away and lends the laundry
Wrinkles with sun scents

Dull platinum sky
Spits and ripples the rust-like
Algae’d stone bird bath

Grey, mild, but drizzling:
Weather brings down my spirit
Along with the leaves.

Autumn in the air:
Bring out the long socks, long sleeves;
Relish wardrobe shift!

Oh, cheer! Sun seeps through:
Blanket grey’s blue-broken;
Bird bath water’s warmed.

(more haikus – one per day over a month for NaPoWriMo 2014 – can be seen on my ‘sibling’ blog site: OTTP Haiku City)

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Sadly, due to funding cuts, Grow21 season, due this winter, had to be cancelled.  I will now be volunteering assistance to fundraise for this very worthwhile project;  the Grow Project invites donations from any source – and it’s possible to watch their beautifully hand-painted, research evaluation animation – “nature-based intervention for mental health” – to understand the benefits of such courses and group days spent in the ‘great outdoors’.  To donate, visit Grow’s Facebook page

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