With many ‘green fingered’ staff at Osney One who already grow their own vegetables or keep an allotment, there was enthusiasm to grow vegetables.
Osney One Green Impact Team members led the initiative, holding a short series of talks to engage and collect ideas for the planter while also providing information on sustainability at the University. Funds were raised to pay for installation and stock the bed.
Staff were encouraged to ‘grow their own’ and share the ‘home-grown’ produce. This also enabled them to take a break from their work and enjoy some fresh air.
A 2m x 2m planter made from double-stacked softwood sleepers was built and filled with soil by Estates Services in June 2019. Staff at Osney filled it with a variety of seasonal vegetables and herbs, some of which were donated. These included chard, peas, lettuce, spinach, cucumber, courgettes, kohlrabi to name but a few. Shared documents were created to show what is growing and where.
Volunteers continue to maintain the planter and the produce, alerting staff when particular crops are ready to harvest (and how to do this). The planter is open for all to help themselves. It is hoped that as the seasons pass, the pool of what is grown and who is involved will grow organically.
Staff have received the scheme positively. So far, spinach, chard, lettuce, cucumber, peas and courgettes have been harvested.
The Osney One team are proud to have achieved ‘Beyond Gold’ in the latest Green Impact awards and previous awards, including an award for innovation’.
As a result
- The project succeeded in increasing biodiversity and sustainability within the University
- Provided a sense of community providing vegetables available for all to harvest
- Helping to improve well-being for staff who maintain the planter