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My First Blog

Monday, June 27, 2016

Welcome to my first blog! My name is Jacquie and I am the daughter of store owner Jack Keeley. I began working with Dad and my three brothers Tom, Joe and John in the family store when I was pregnant with my daughter Charlotte. I now work two days a week at the shop and the rest of the time I’m a full time Mum to Charlotte and wife to my husband Mike living in our family home North of the river with our dog Clancy. So onto my first blog, here goes nothing!

Being my first blog I wasn’t sure what to write about so I thought I would share my experience of my family building our street a community garden. Recently I became a tree planter for our local council City of Stirling and have been doing this some Saturday mornings planting street trees with other like-minded folk who want to see more trees less concrete and recognise all the benefits that go along with that. So after doing this for a while I had an idea about the patch of grass on the verge of our house about 3.5m x 5.5m that we weren’t sure what to do with. I suggested to Mike that we create a Community Garden for our street and perhaps it would be something that Charlotte and the other kids on the street could enjoy together. In an age where people can sometimes live quite separately I wanted my daughter to grow up in a world where she saw us talking with each other and coming together with other people to work on a project. I want my daughter to know what community spirit is. So off I went to get council approval and on we went with our planning!

It has been a very quick process as we’ve had a neighbour approach us to say that he had a brand new digger that he wanted to use to help us lift up all the old grass. He not only did that but took it all away with him on the back of his truck. This saved Mike and I a great deal of time in digging. Already it has begun. In the pouring rain this weekend we had the neighbours out helping us put in new soil and get the ground ready for planting.

Now – what to plant and when! Which brings me to my brother Tom who is the head of the Fruit and Vegetable department at our store. When I was thinking of what to plant I thought I have to ask Tom because there are so many times when I am in the store that a customer will approach me about a) how good our fruit and veg section looks and b) how happy they are with the variety we provide. I also know that Tom always uses local growers so I was keen to have this information as they would be the people that are growing in the same climate as me!

Tom gave me the below chart to have a look at which was fantastic as it’s helped me to create a plan of what we will plant this weekend. Looks like we will be beginning with beans, peas, carrots and spinach to begin with! Luckily in our Grocery Department we also stock a good range of fertiliser and plant foods.

So until the weekend I will be hunting more articles online and reading a few good books to see what I should be planting. Any tips, ideas or feedback send me an email on Thank you for reading this weeks blog I hope that it sparked some interest in any other gardeners out there tackling the winter weather!

Have a wonderful week ahead and stay warm!
Jacquie Barns