Get Growing Goes Wild - in Ynyslas and Pantperthog
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This year, the Dyfi Valley's much loved "Get Growing" course is branching out.
Course members will be tutored in wildlife gardening skills as well as organic vegetable growing - all for free! Another change is that it will be available at two different sites: one at Ynyslas and another at Pantperthog.
The 10 week "Get Growing" practical gardening course will teach students how to encourage wildlife and create suitable habitats for bugs and beasts and birds, in addition to all aspects of preparing the ground, growing crops from seed, mixed growing and pest control.
Course members will grow a variety of crops ranging from spuds and cabbage to sweet corn and tomatoes.
In September, they will harvest their crops and take them home to eat.
Other people, however, may choose to follow the course via the internet or post, carrying out the weekly activities in their own gardens.
The teaching team is Leigh Munton, who is qualified in therapeutic horticulture, and Kate Doubleday, who specialises in community garden design.
The courses are being organised by Imogen Pettitt of community regeneration company ecodyfi, as part of the Mentro Allan Bro Ddyfi project.
Mentro Allan is a health research project aimed at getting people outside and active, and finding out what often stops them.
Previous "Get Growing" courses have also been successful in encouraging participants to grow and eat their own veg, in helping them to feel more positive and in developing their understanding of the natural world.
Imogen noted that "As well as learning lots, groups from previous years have become and stayed friends.
Working outside on a shared project is a great way to meet new people." Sessions will be at complete beginner level - and there is no need for people to be put off if they haven't exercised for a while.
"Everyone in the Dyfi Valley is eligible to join in the activities" explains Imogen.
"However we're especially keen to meet parents of young children, young adults and anyone feeling low or isolated.
“People from Machynlleth, Cadfarch, Glantwymyn and Llanbrynmair will be particularly welcome."
The course runs between 10.30am and 3pm on Tuesdays, starting 18 March at Ynyslas and 25 March for those living nearer to Machynlleth.
Places are limited, so anyone wanting to start growing at either Ynyslas or Pantperthog should contact Imogen very soon to book a place, by phoning 01654 703965 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling in to ecodyfi's office at Ty Bro Ddyfi, Machynlleth (opposite Maengwyn Café).
Notes for editors:
Mentro Allan is a collection of projects in Wales supported by the Big Lottery Fund and a national partnership.
The programme targets specific groups that are generally less active than the wider population.
Each of the projects will be funded for four years to increase the physical activity levels of its target group, making best use of the local natural outdoor environment close to where people live.
The programme will collect evidence on the effectiveness of specific interventions designed to increase people’s levels of health-benefiting physical activity.
The Bro Ddyfi Mentro Allan programme will encourage individuals in the Dyfi Valley to increase their levels of physical activity, using a variety of settings in the outdoor natural environment, while researching what worked to make this change and why.
Our main target group is the broad population who experience rural isolation and who live sedentary lives.
We are particularly concerned with individuals suffering from loneliness and social exclusion as a result of poor access to services and a dispersed population pattern, though activities will be open to all residents.
Our next target groups are: parents of young children, especially young parents; 11-18 years olds, especially those at risk of social exclusion; people with mental health issues, especially those not in regular contact with support groups and services.
We will target residents of the Machynlleth, Cadfarch, Glantwymyn and Llanbrynmair areas, but residents from other parts of the valley will be welcome to join in.