Running community schemes

    Spotlight 1/2022
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    We meet community gardener Amanda Godber in A Day in My Life. Based in Stroud, in the county of Gloucestershire in south-west England, Godber manages a non-profitgemeinnützignon-profit organization called Down To Earth. It encourages people to grow food in their gardens and to increase access to and availability of locally grown seasonal organicBio-organic food. Listen now as Godber talks about what she likes most about her job.

    My favourite thing about the work that I do is that it’s so varied, because we’re a very small team. The lovely thing is I get to see so many gardens and meet so many nice people. Today, for example, I’ve been in Cheltenham and then I’ve been over to see a gentleman customer of ours over in Gloucester and then this afternoon I’ve been back in Stroud to see another customer. So, I like all that community building side of the work we do, which is one of the reasons why we started a community interest company, because everything we do invests back into the community. We’ve got some fantastic gardeners, and between the gardeners, the gardens and the community schemes that we run, the community projects, it’s just such a diverse job. All of it’s outside in the mainim Wesentlichenin the main, even adminBüroarbeitadminadmin I take outside if I can. A computer doesn’t always look so good outside, but I do try and do as much work as I can outside and it’s a very healthy kind of job to have. It is quite a lot of hours and quite a lot of stuff you do that doesn’t come into the job description, but it needs being done so you just get on and do it. So, yeah, they’re the favourite parts of the job that I like.

    Mornings are a busy time for Godber, as she explains.

    Well, I’m a bit of an early birdFrühaufsteher(in)early bird in the morning. I often get up at around five, sometimes a bit earlier. I’ve always liked the mornings and I like to sit and have a fruit tea with a sliceScheibeslice of lemon. Sometimes, I sit outside depending on the time of year, and then it has to be followed by a very strong coffee, black coffee. A couple of mornings a week, I to assaultstürmenassault my kitchen and do a high-intensity training regimehier: Programmregime in the kitchen. I only do it for about half an hour, three quarters of an hour, but I feel it’s an important thing to keep strength and cardio workAusdauercardio work going, so I do that. Anytime between 5.30 and 6.30 I start work. So that’s usually going on the computer and doing all the e-mails that have come in that day, and then depending on what part of the month or the week it is I might have gardeners to pay, I might have invoiceRechnunginvoices to produce or to process, I might have... at the moment we’re doing VAT (value-added tax) returnUmsatzsteuererklärungVAT returns. I’ll go out on appointmentTerminappointments in the morning. I do one day’s gardening a week myself still, and that’s on a Wednesday where I’m out, 9 o’clock I’m on sitevor Orton site and I work through till about five or six and on a Thursday morning I run a gardening on prescriptionGartentherapiegardening on prescription project at a hospital grounds, which I absolutely to adore sth./sb.etw./jmdn. über alles liebenadore, they’re such lovely people. So, I have a really mixed bagbunte Mischungmixed bag of what I do in the morning but a lot of it is admin based except for those two days of the week.

    Godber is an enthusiastic gardener – even in her spare time. Here, she tells us about her favourite places to garden.

    Even though I’m a gardener, I do have some favourite outdoor spaces of my own. I have a lovely south-facingnach Süden gerichtetsouth-facing garden that I created when I moved into a new build four years ago. I’ve got a pergola with wisteriaGlyzinie, Blauregenwisteria growing over it, some very fragrantduftendfragrant shrubStrauch, Staudeshrubs which I absolutely adore, a pondTeichpond and a greenhouseGewächshausgreenhouse and it’s just my little space. It’s my little bit of heaven. Very private from my lovely neighbours but, still, it’s lovely out there. Another favourite space is I’ve got an allotmentKleingarten, Parzelleallotment I’ve had for 14 years now. I have allotment neighbours, and we’re our own little community up there as well. If you went up to my allotment, you might think there isn’t one, because I’ve got so many hollyhockStockrose, Malvehollyhocks and foxgloveFingerhutfoxgloves and nigellaJungfer im Grünennigellas and poppyMohnpoppies and everything growing. It doesn’t look like a normal plotParzelle, Grundstückplot. However, I do manage to grow food as well and I do have some successes – a lot of successes. I do have some failures, too, like the squirrelEichhörnchensquirrel that decided to pick all my unripe strawberries and to pile sth.etw. anhäufenpile them in the corner of my greenhouse for me, so they all to rotverderben, verfaulenrotted. That was a bit disappointing. I go up there and I can pick some blueberries and strawberries, and I also had some raspberryHimbeereraspberries last week when I went up, I picked some chivesSchnittlauchchives and that was my lunch when I was up there, so I absolutely love that. And then I do have a favourite customer’s garden, Peter, and I’ve done his garden for fifteen years now. It’s not like my garden, it’s just a place I like to go. He does quite a lot of the gardening now he’s retired himself, but it’s just a nice place to be and I like a lot of the plants he’s got and it’s a very relaxed place to work so I enjoy doing it, and he lets me make compost which I enjoy.

    What advice would Godber give to someone just starting out to growhier: anbauengrowing food?

    If I was going to advise somebody about what to grow, and they were new to growing food, I’d suggest to keep it as simple as possible. So maybe choose a fruit shrub, or a fruit tree, or a type of salad to grow, so tomatoes or lettuceSalatlettuce, and then perhaps a sack of compost with some potatoes in, but not do any more than that. And then to keep a diary, keep a note of when you did them, when you to sowsäensowed the seedSamenseeds, when you put them in, when you watered, you know, all of that information, how often to feed them, and then just a note of how that does, you know, how well do those potatoes grow? How well does that fruit tree grow? Look out for things that might affect it, any pest(Pflanzen)Schädlingpests and diseases, and get to know that plant.

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