From little things, big things grow

Kareen Charlesworth has been working to build a veggie garden with Kevin, a Minda Supported Independent Living Services (SILS) client at St Marys. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kareen, a SILS support worker, wanted to find new ways to keep Kevin engaged with things that interested him.

“Kevin loves collecting from nature, picking up leaves and sticks wherever he goes, so I wondered if he might want to start a veggie garden where he looked after living plants,” Kareen says.

“My manager supported the idea and asked me to put the idea to Kevin’s family, who were also keen.

“Together with my colleague Shay Stubbings from MyPATH, we started putting a garden bed together with Kevin, so he could plant the seeds, water them, and see what happens.

“Now here we are a while later and the seeds are sprouting green shoots. Kevin planted a range of things he could care for until they were ready to be picked and used to cook meals. They include easy-growing things such as spinach, silver beet and a bay leaf plant. Kevin is really enjoying the activity, and we are all learning at the same time, as we try different things such as using veggie scraps for compost and fertiliser.”