I posted on facebook a request for help. 120 people answered pretty much straight away. These folks said ‘we’re just a couple of old fogies but we’re in’ So I asked what would you have to say about / to older people. And this is what they said. Brilliant work Mary and George Pattison. Together we are strong and there is an urgent need for we the people to make the world a better place.
Keep older people gardening (and staying in their own homes) for longer by sharing with them the idea that permaculture/forest gardening can be lower maintenance than the ‘conventional methods’ they have used all their lives. Also that tidiness in a garden isn’t everything – a bit of planned unruliness or alternative plant choices will attract wildlife, giving an added dimension to the garden which they can sit and enjoy without guilt.
Encourage them to join in community gardening activities – maybe by emphasising that no-one’s contribution is too small – making a cup of tea for the ‘workers’ , or being a good listener.
If they have a garden that is too big for them introduce them to younger people who would be willing to help then share harvests. Might work particularly well in cities where young people don’t have the opportunities for gardens of their own.
Highlight that everyone’s role in society is valued whatever their age. Many older people these days are separated from their children and grandchildren by distance and enjoy having the company of younger people – or just company!
Older people can teach newbies a lot about self-sufficiency: poultry keeping, knitting/crocheting, cooking, make-do-and mend – and take great pride in sharing their skills and knowledge.
Invite elderly neighbours/groups to community meals and not just for special occasions like Christmas. It must be boring eating alone every meal, every day with no conversation at mealtimes.
Show that there is enough for everyone if we are thoughtful. By spending time together sharing an activity we can draw out skills, knowledge, experience and be creative. A bit vague – but refers back to the PEOPLE CARE section above.
HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE THIS?
In a small way – invite older relatives and neighbours to join in meals or workshops as active participants. If you already do this ask them to bring along a friend or two to spread the good vibes.
Approach organisations – senior citizen clubs/U3A/members of self-help groups to come along to demonstration gardens or open days.
Wishing you every success with this much-needed bold project
Mary & George Pattison
Brilliant! Thank you so much…