Connect Hackney

Winnie Roach – Intergenerational Gardening

When I was young in Guyana all our fruit and vegetables came from our garden and fish from the stream. We only had to buy oil, flour and other essentials. I grew up with nature. The community looked out for the children, making sure they were safe and not misbehaving.

I travelled to London, worked with young people and had children of my own. There are so many pressures and demands in London. My children always wanted the branded trainers, PlayStations and other things their friends had, which we couldn’t afford. Instead of ‘things’ they got love and structure in their lives.

I joined the gardening group at the Concorde because I love to teach children gardening skills, about living things and learn things from them in return. Everybody should learn something new every day. Many live in flats and don’t have a garden, so this is a new experience for them.

I love the way they react to worms and insects! It can be difficult to keep the children focussed; they will do gardening for fifteen minutes, then run off to play. This can be frustrating but it means we get to work with more children. I hope the children start learning patience from gardening. Everything is wanted immediately nowadays and gardening is something that takes time.

We have cleared the beds and started planning what we will plant; but then we will have to wait for the plants to grow, flower and fruit before we can pick and eat them. I am looking forward to growing food with the children, picking and cooking it and then eating it together because in some ways it takes me back to my childhood.

Get involved!

If you would like to get involved with the gardening group please contact Martin Sadler on 07384 511701 or click here to email.