The Sanctuary Garden is a place to escape from ‘ground hog day’ and the endless broadcasted torrent of bad news. Learning a skill, engages our brain giving it a break from worry and anxiety. It is also immensely satisfying to grow vegetables from seed. It has helped with Grant’s depression, and he imagines it would help others.
It is a place to learn how to grow from seed, take cuttings, enjoy the success of growing vegetables, harvesting them and cooking a delicious meal. First time gardeners are welcomed, supported and shown how to grow vegetables Both in this garden and at home. Everything that is needed to grow vegetables is provided, from seeds and compost to the poly-tunnel.
Grant has lived in Scotland for more time than he’s lived anywhere else. He’s always been a gardener, growing up on a small holding, having an allotment in his youth until his career dominated his life.
One of the many podcasts he listened to, was one by Epic Gardener; Ian McKenna, lives in Austin, Texas, has been growing and giving away vegetables to food banks. In the eight years he’s been doing it, he has given away 22,000lb , nearly 10 tonnes of fresh produce. The host asked “how old are you?” “sixteen” was the reply and there was silence. “You have been giving food away since you were 8 years old?” His reply made it sound quite normal. A light bulb moment.
In another podcast, a woman was teaching people to become gardeners, and teach other people how to garden. “Be your village’s gardener, don’t aim for world domination” and that too struck a chord.
With this inspiration, The Sanctuary Garden could provide fresh vegetables to Dunfermline food bank who are delighted to receive potatoes, carrots and other reasonably shelf stable vegetables.
Grant’s initial thought of renting a poly-tunnel allotment changed to a kibbutz-like community. In my late teens, many of my friends in Johannesburg had worked on a Kibbutz in Israel and loved the experience. Everyone works for the success of the commune. In the ‘70s it had a slightly hippy feel.
The aims, ethos and guidelines of The Sanctuary Garden will reinforce working together as opposed to ‘yours and mine,’ ‘if you do, I will’ transactional and instant-gratification-world we live in.
The word sanctuary has two definitions, one is a refuge or safety and the other relates to a protected area for nature. The Sanctuary Garden covers both of these, hence it will be completely organic, focusing on a living soil, promoting microbes.
Grant is an advocate of Korean Natural Farming that is aimed at subsistence farmers who are struggling against rising costs of pesticide and mechanisation. Master Cho’s son has started JADAM aiming to help farmers understand it is possible to grow produce for less than $100 an acre. He, like his father, has suffered the backlash from corporate big Agri machine trying discredit and humiliate.