Blog

Welcome to our new Project and Fundraising Manager

Blog by Abbie Kay, Project and Fundraising Manager COG


Week four at COG for me and I am pleased to say the Community Oasis Gardens are already my happy place.

The role appealed to me in so many ways, predominately to feel like I am making a difference to others, whilst knowing that working outdoors and physical activity makes me feel so much happier too.

Tranquillity, warm welcomes, such promise of growth not only for our harvest but our community too. Beneficiaries, students, volunteers and employees working alongside each other with tasks and pace’s to suit everyone’s needs.

Smelling the freshly cut grass whilst clearing brambles from an area destined to be a relaxation space for the wellbeing of our community, with bespoke tyre seating in the shade, the smell of fresh herbs surrounding you whilst listening to the birds sing and the bees buzz.

Sugar snap peas, lettuce, tomatoes, marigolds and the promise of a pumpkin competition later in the year. The garden’s are an escape from life’s hustle and bustle, stresses and strains, whilst offering many beneficiaries new life skills, confidence, socialisation and to aim for the end goal of employment.

I am now putting the wheels in motion to carry out my promise to KET, I will complete a Fundraising Sky Dive with the hope of beating my fear of flying and assist these beautiful gardens in remaining a hub for our community to grow alongside the seeds that they sow. The dive will be funded by myself which means every penny raised will go directly to our garden, watch this space for my sponsorship details. I need you all to be behind me on this – I can’t believe I’m going to jump out of a plane!

We are desperate for soil for planting at the moment, without soil we are unable to grow plants to sell on which sustains this amazing place for our community, please do let me know if anyone has any ideas on discounted or free soil.

New Encounters

Blog post by one of our volunteer, a MSc student here at the University of Kent.

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I stumbled across the Kent Community Oasis Garden on a walk to the Blean from campus. It was off hours, but after a poke around I got the feeling that it was a positive space. I made note of the hours and was on my way. Finding Canterbury my home away from home and in a milder climate than I am used to getting dirty through the winter sounded like great therapy and right up my alley. It wasn’t till a few weeks later when I needed a location to conduct a micro research project for a methods course did I realize that the garden would be a perfect spot. Studying ethnobotany at Kent, the relationship members had with the physical and social landscape I felt would be an interesting study. If I was drawn in by the potential for positive wellbeing the garden offered, would anyone else? What would those other relationships look like? Does the garden positively impact wellbeing and can the how’s be identified and maybe even quantified? I volunteered weekly to find out. In all kinds of English weather, and luckily not too much rain I helped where I could, observed and interviewed members over six weeks this fall. Among the language and gardening insight was the conclusion that the members of the community take part in a reciprocal, therapeutic landscape contributing to the wellbeing of both the land and the people.

Thank you notes found in the KentCOG suggestion box

 

 

 

KentCOG celebrates ‘Friendsgiving’ on the 21st November

Join the community and celebrate a classic American holiday by gathering as friends to share thanks and giving with seasonal beverages and snacks!

Date: November 21st

Time: 12 noon

Location: Kent COG’s Potting Shed & Garden – Find us here

 

No reservations required, but contributions via donations to the space or autumn treats for the event are always appreciated!

First timer? – Come and learn about ways to get involved!

Organized by American students at the University of Kent

The official launch of the KentCOG project

Original post from the the University of Kent News Centre written by Dan Worth.

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A new community garden has opened on the Canterbury campus that is designed to become an outdoor space for staff, students and members of the local community to use for a range of activities.

The Kent Community Oasis Garden (KentCOG) is being developed by the University’s Student Wellbeing and Estates teams in partnership with local charity Kent Enterprise Trust (KET). It is designed to be a collaborative space that anyone can get involved in, whether as an area to unwind and relax or to learn new skills, which is a key focus for KET and its volunteers.

To this end, the garden will provide the opportunity to take part in numerous seasonal initiatives, including growing plants, wildflowers and vegetables, as well as other related activities. The garden is located along the Crab and Winkle pathway to the far east of the Canterbury Campus past the Parkwood accommodation.

The garden is also benefiting in its design from input by Gardeners’ World expert Mark Lane, who lives locally and has provided his services free of charge. In particular, Mark is focusing on the accessibility of the space so that it will be available for as many people as possible to use in the future.

Kent Oasis Garden plaque

Richard Cottam, Head of Facilities Management in the University’s Estates Department, said: ‘The Kent Community Oasis Garden will provide a fun, engaging and educational space for anyone who wants to get involved and we are proud to be able to host it at the University. All are welcome and we hope as many people as possible will take part. We have big plans for the garden in the years ahead and are grateful to everyone who has helped out so far.’

Other organisations taking an active involvement in the garden are the Whitstable and Herne Bay Beekeepers group, as well as Kent Union and its student-run Gardening and Foraging Society.

More information on the garden can be found at the Kent Community Oasis Garden website. Plants have been donated to the garden by the Canterbury Chartham Wyevale Garden Centre and Vincent Nurseries in Herne Bay.

The launch of the garden also fits in with several of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals that the University has pledged to follow.