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Pumpkin landscape

13th April 2018

Spadework win Community Award

Spadework’s Trainees and staff have championed conservation and environmental issues for years, but until recently, it hadn’t been officially recognised. All that changed at the Taste of Kent Awards in March when the charity, which provides care and work-based training for adults with learning and other disabilities, scooped the first ever Kent Countryside Community Award. Spadework’s bat roosts, nesting boxes, toad houses and bug hotels, made from old pallets and recycled materials, seriously impressed the judges. Their two-acre veg plot also scored points, by using only natural predators, approved organic chemicals to control pests and feeding crops using just manure from local stables, fertiliser from their wormeries and their home-made compost. Spadework are committed to passing-on their knowledge. They have been working closely with the VIAT Leybourne Chase Primary School, helping them to create an eco-garden and teaching pupils how to grow food and other plants in an environmentally friendly way and are keen to get more schools involved. All of the fruits and vegetables grown at Spadework go to good use, many of them are sold in the charity’s Farm Shop, or served in their 40-seater Cafe. Others are used to make hot lunches for the ninety adults with learning and other disabilities who attend their day opportunity service and take part in horticulture, cooking, customer service and other activities at their seven-acre site in Offham, near West Malling. Any excess vegetable plants are sold in the Garden Centre alongside an excellent range of perennials, fruit trees and bedding plants. Spadework’s Garden Centre, Cafe, and Farm Shop are open to the public seven days a week.