Pensioners of the dig society

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THREE Spalding men have come up with a down to earth answer to the big society by growing vegetables for residents at their housing complex, Nene Court.

Roland Munton, George Isaac and “Brush” Wright are the ‘dig society’ and volunteer their time growing potatoes, spring cabbages, cauliflowers, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and onions.

Roland (67) said: “We grow the vegetables and let the residents have them when they are ready.”

He spent half a century in horticulture and has been leading the way with his expertise, ably assisted by retired site agent George (78), and Brush (62), who spent 45 years as a plumber.

Brush said: “To be honest this patch of land was a complete mess and needed a lot of attention.

“The council cuts the grass round here and we have been working on the beds and verges to put a bit of community spirit into the job.”

The trio are lining up a crop of Brussels sprouts for the dinner table at Christmas and also grow flowers at the complex in Thames Road.

And they have their eyes on expansion to include a nearby raised bed which has been reclaimed by nature and needs a good tidy.

Nene Court scheme manager Alison Conroy said: “They asked me if they could work on it and plant some things there and it just took off from there.

“It keeps them busy and I’m hoping it might encourage other tenants to do something similar where they live.

“What they have been doing is really smashing.”

Council portfolio holders have also paid tribute to the trio.

Coun Christine Lawton, portfolio holder for housing, described the gentlemen gardeners as a credit to Nene Court and South Holland.

And Coun Nick Worth, portfolio holder for big society and localism, said: “It is really inspiring to see these three people using their knowledge and expertise in growing vegetables to give their local community access to locally grown food.

“A great example of big society in action.”