Orchardville Easy Cooking Event

As the final part of Orchardville’s role in EasyCooking, they organised an event to celebrate the participation of their groups and to show off the hard work and produce grown at the allotments, as well as talk about the meals and recipes they cooked along the way. Over 50 guests attended and saw the presentations of the cookbook and the trainer’s manual, and also to found out a
little bit about the project itself and what all of us were aiming to achieve.

They have had great success with the project and the allotment, Orchardville Grows, has become a big part of life for around 25 participants every week. They also made an appeal for volunteers to continue to help out at the allotments once Easy Cooking project ends, so the participants can continue to develop their skills and improve their health and wellbeing from working outdoors and
learning to grow their own fruit and vegetables. This was in the form of a video recorded by BBC and Radio Ulster, which Orchardville showed on the day to try and get volunteers on board.

They presented each participant who took part with a certificate to recognize their hard work, and they also got a copy of the recipe book to take home to encourage them to use the skills in their own house, either independently or with support from family or care workers.

Throughout the project, Orchardville’s participants really enjoyed learning both cookery and horticulture skills, and all agreed that they felt happier and healthier from their outdoor work. They also managed to try new ingredients and meals that they would never have had the opportunity to try without this project. Some were more popular than others though, and I don’t think there will be a rush for octopus in the supermarkets!! They are also now more aware of the importance of a balanced diet, and the reason why they should try to eat healthier.

Overall the project was a great success at Orchardville, and they are keen to keep up a lot of the individual practices and skills that we started as a result of this project.