Hayes bags of vegetables
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

Hayes Local Veg Donation

This piece was written by Pete Martin from the local allotment group, and features on the Cumbria in Bloom website.

We were only too happy to donate goods which would otherwise have gone to waste. There is nothing better than fresh dug home-grown potatoes so we hope all the recipients really enjoy the fruits of their labour.

"At the end of April I was rung, as the contact for Ambleside Allotments Association, by Hayes Garden Centre, who were wondering if we would like their surplus seed potatoes (and other vegetable “bulbs”). If not, they were going to throw them out. After a moment or two’s thought I said yes: at the very least they could be composted. But within a couple of hours, after emailing all the allotment plot holders and putting something on the local Coronavirus Facebook group, I had 30 people interested. 24 hours later the number had grown to over 50.

And then the van turned up with innumerable sacks of spuds!

I distributed them all around the local area: Little Langdale, Skelwith, Langdale, Wray, Grasmere and Ambleside itself; to a variety of people with a variety of experience. There were families who looking for a project to do with the kids, isolated and furloughed workers, people who had never gardened before, community projects, those who had been self-isolating for 6 weeks, folk who had been trying for weeks to get hold of seed potatoes but with no luck. In the end, well over 60 different people received seed potatoes, shallots, garlic, oca, asparagus crowns, globe artichokes or rhubarb, and it was apparent as I travelled around delivering, having at-a-distance conversations, how excited many people were, and how well-received this act by Hayes was. Let’s hope the growing is a success too….and that for a few at least, it excites them enough to continue growing beyond this summer."

To view the article on the 'Cumbria in Bloom' website please click here