From the Blackmore Vale Magazine (6 September 2015): Dorset social enterprise, Future Roots, and The Engine Room Restaurant near Dorchester are reaping the rewards of their new partnership. Workers at Future Roots’ farm now deliver fresh vegetables every week to the restaurant at Poundbury Gardens.
The vegetables are grown on Future Roots’ four acre Whitfield site just three miles from Poundbury Gardens. They are tended to by a group of vulnerable adults collectively known as the Countrymen’s Club.
In return for providing local produce for The Engine Room Restaurant the Countrymen’s Club receive vouchers to spend on tools and seeds at any of The Gardens Group’s three award-winning garden centres.
Future Roots is a not-for-profit social enterprise, established nine years ago to give positive purpose to people who are struggling with transitions in their lives. It is open every day to people who have complex issues to deal with.
All staff are experienced and trained to facilitate positive change with the help of animals or plants. The Countrymen’s Club now runs five days a week from both its original site at Rylands Farm near Sherborne and Whitfield Farm.
Future Roots provides a range of programmes for all ages. Activities include woodworking, pottery and animal assisted therapy, but the team at Whitfield particularly enjoy horticulture. Their partnership with Poundbury Gardens is the perfect opportunity to share the fruits of their labour with the wider community.
Cath Collins, group food manager at The Gardens Group, said:
“We’re so inspired by the work undertaken at Future Roots and have been bowled over by the range and quality of the vegetables that they’ve produced.
“Provenance is really important to us at The Engine Room and this initiative dovetails perfectly with our on-going commitment to local and seasonal sourcing.
“We all hope that our partnership helps shine the spotlight on the great work that Future Roots does and inspires more volunteers to get involved.”