Malcolm’s pumpkin wins first place in country show
Malcolm, who lives at a supported living service for learning disabled adults in Trevean, Cornwall, impressed judges with his home-grown pumpkin at the recent Treverbyn Produce, Preserves and Pasty Show, walking away with first place.
Back in 2020, Malcom began growing his own fruit and vegetables at home, after helping his parents grow potatoes in their back garden and developing his skills while working as a volunteer in Treverbyn Community Hall’s greenspace and greenhouse.
Now, three years on, Malcolm is a pro: his green-fingered prowess has helped him produce an array of fruit and vegetable produce, including the prize-winning pumpkin.
Tegan Martin, Malcolm’s support worker at learning disability charity Hft’s supported living service, says:
“The Treverbyn team was so impressed with Malcolm’s pumpkin, they suggested he entered it into their show…and he won first prize! He has not stopped smiling since, and his first-prize certificate has been framed and hung on his bedroom wall.”
Malcolm is very serious about his garden and, at the start of this year, decided to invest in a polytunnel to take his gardening to the next level. This addition has made a massive difference and he’s found himself overrun with one particular fruit. He says:
“The easiest thing this year was growing tomatoes – I have heaps!”
Malcolm has found himself eating many tomato omelettes for lunch, though he has also donated some of his tomatoes to the community larder at Treverbyn Hall.
“The thing is,” he adds, “how is one person going to eat all those tomatoes?!”
Harvests aside, for 52-year-old Malcolm, the process of growing is just as important as the final crop, offering a mindful opportunity to get into the elements.
He says, “Fruit and veg is nice and fresh when you grow it yourself. I like to eat it and use it in my cooking. It is also relaxing being in the garden. It gives me something to focus on.”
Malcolm would love to inspire others to have a go at growing their own produce and shares his tips for getting started:
“It’s fun to start from seed but you could begin with using some ready started plants to help you at first. You have to be patient and water them every day.
“You could just start with some different veg, maybe one or two, and add more when you have more experience. And, with a raised bed, you have got to keep up with the weeding.”
Notes to editors
Hft is a national charity that creatively supports more than 2,200 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Services range from residential care to supporting people to live independently in their own homes – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.
Established in 1962, Hft is funded in two ways: through local authorities, who fund vital support services, but also through donors, supporters and volunteers who enable us to find new ways to help more people to thrive rather than just get by.
For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk