Story and images by Lily Tatterson
An upcoming community garden is sowing the seeds for a happier future.
Those who have been getting some COVID exercise around Sale’s Lake Guthridge may have noticed that the Seed Lakeside Community Garden has been putting down its roots. However, what you can’t tell just from strolling by is that this garden has much bigger goals than just growing delicious, nutritious vegetables. Its main purpose is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its local community.
Seed Lakeside Community Garden is a not-for-profit community organisation built and managed by a bunch of dedicated, hardworking volunteers, along with some help from local businesses. Shae Wilson is the founder, president and heart of Seed and it’s her experience as a mental health nurse that motivated her to create the garden.
“I just found that there wasn’t a lot of options for mental health recovery or prevention locally,” Shae said.
“I’ve worked in the field for over 20 years so I’m well aware of the high rates of mental health issues in the area.”
So how does Seed plan to grow vegetables and the happiness of the community?
“Once open, the garden will give people an option outside of a clinical environment to connect with one another, get support and be involved in a nice, calming and relaxing environment.
“There is no pressure for people who visit the garden to talk to anyone if they don’t want to. They can just tend to the plants by themselves if they prefer, but we hope people will take the opportunity to make friends and learn from one another.
“My vision is that it will be a space where people from all walks of life and all ages feel comfortable entering, and that they will find something or someone to connect with.”
There will be tons of things for visitors to make those connections with. Already you can see the inclusion of beautiful works of art from local artists (with more to come), the beginnings of a mindfulness area and an unbelievable woodfired pizza oven. There will be more than forty garden beds, fruit trees and a chicken coop that was recently named ‘Cluckingham Palace’ by the Seed Facebook community. Once open, Seed also plans to run free and low-cost classes and workshops on a variety of topics such as cooking, gardening, sustainability, mental health and wellbeing, and art.
The Seed Garden has already received a large amount of interest from the local community. There are multiple requests each week from people keen to help when it opens.
It was Seed‘s intention to open its gates on 10 October, however those plans were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. People eagerly waiting to visit Seed needn’t worry though, as the committee is working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen. Those who would like to keep up-to-date about when the Seed gates will be flung open, are being encouraged to follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
If Seed sounds like something you would like to be a part of, you can register your interest in being a volunteer or sign up to be a member at their website www.seedcommunitygarden.org