News / Good to Grow

Learn about Mrs Smith’s Cottage and her legacy of food growing in small spaces

In preparation for their re-opening in May, Mrs Smith’s Cottage is hosting a live online workshop at 1pm, Saturday 24 April as part of Good to Grow 2021.

Mrs Smith in her garden. Credit: Mrs Smith's Museum

Mrs Smith in her garden. Credit: Mrs Smith's Museum

Local hero and community champion, Mrs Hilda Smith, born in Navenby, Lincolnshire in 1892, lived in a quaint country cottage with a garden and allotment where she grew an abundance of vegetables and fruits as well as flowers specifically grown for the local chapel. The site was also home to an infamously high yeilding apple tree which still bears (lots of) fruit to this day.  

Since her passing in 1995 at the age of 102, the cottage has now become a museum open for all visitors who wish to learn about Mrs Smith's approach to life, especially in the way of food and flower growing.

To celebrate the reopening of this unique space, a talk will be hosted by Sally, who will introduce methods of gardening in small spaces inspired by Mrs Smith own techniques and ethos.

Mrs Smith’s Cottage is run by the local council, who are currently working on a project with the National Lottery Fund to restore the cottage and its garden to its fullest potential. The site has four dedicated members of staff on site, including Sally, who, before Covid, would regularly assist volunteers in the garden. As the garden itself is limited in greenhouse space, volunteers have maintained a link with the cottage by helping to raise a majority of the plants in their own homes.

Two volunteers in particular, Judy and Brian, helped Mrs Smith maintain her garden whilst she was still alive and continue to dedicate their time at the cottage to this day.

Judy working in Mrs Smith's garden

Volunteers are given first priority when it comes to the food harvested from Mrs Smith’s garden. Anything surplus is sold in the village via an honesty box. The cottage’s over productive apple tree also heavily contributes to the museums store, in the form of tasty jars of apple chutney.

During Covid, the Museum and its garden had to close to the general public. However, volunteers were still given garden tasks that they could undertake in the comfort of their own homes, like building outdoor furniture, sowing and growing plants from home and supporting in the creation of social media content. Mrs Smith's also kept the community engaged through online resources that looked specifically into making the most of food, including a Pinterest Exhibition.

Mrs Smith’s Cottage is joining Good to Grow 2021, by hosting a Facebook live workshop at 1pm, April 24. 

Mrs Smith, credit: Mrs Smith's Cottage Museum

Are you getting involved in Good to Grow day this weekend? Don't forget to share your favourite photos on social media using the hashtag #GoodtoGrow2021 for a chance to win £100 for your growing space

Published 23 Apr 2021

Good to Grow: Good to Grow Day is all about getting people involved in their local community garden. We hold national events across the UK that aim to raise the profile of community gardens and encourage more people to take part.

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