If you’ve ever taken up gardening or even just cared for a houseplant you’ll be aware of the great satisfaction it can bring you and there’s plenty of research and scientific evidence of the restorative power of gardening. Whether it’s the mental engagement and concentration that takes our minds off troubled thoughts, the mood-boosting effective of physical activity or the satisfaction of nurturing another living thing. What’s great is that gardening is open to everyone regardless of age and physical ability and if you take part in gardening groups or are part of a shared allotment it can be a great way to build social connections and reduce isolation.
You won’t see a better example of the restorative powers of working with nature than at the Elder Stubbs Recovery Group, part of Oxfordshire-based mental health charity Restore. Restore’s members have been cultivating approximately two acres of mature allotment land there since 1997 and they now grow a fantastic array seasonal vegetables, fruit and flowers. The Cultivate ops team recently toured their allotment with one of their team member Charlotte.
As we’d been stocking some of Elder Stubbs preserves for a few months, which has been hugely popular, we were keen to see what was available for us to get our hands on in terms of fresh produce to share with our customers. We certainly weren’t disappointed; beds of bulging beetroot, glorious multi-coloured swathes of country garden flowers and a polytunnel bursting with tomatoes, courgettes and cucamelons. Not only is their produce grown in ecologically friendly and sustainable way it’s super local. Sourcing from Elder Stubbs also means we’re helping fund all the fantastic work Restore does around the county helping provide recovery and coaching support to people with mental health problems.
It’s not only produce with a good cause but it’s of fantastic quality and flavour, which ticks all the boxes of our local, ethical and delicious sourcing policy. We’ve started stocking Elder Stubbs grown produce at all our stops and on through our Click and Collect and Home Delivery service this week and as it’s just the start of the season we look forward to stocking even more as the year goes on.
If you’d like to see the gardens for yourself their shop selling plants and handmade gifts is open to the public 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday or why not visit their annual Elder Stubbs festival happening this year on the 19th August 12pm – 5pm.