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Using Gardening to Address Social Isolation

Started by Growing Support May 3. 0 Replies

How You Can Help Tackle Social Isolation in Your CommunityRecent research shows up to 50% of older people living in care never go outside and they are twice as likely to experience severe loneliness…Continue

Mini community garden in Watchet

Started by charles birch. Last reply by Mrs Susan Calvo Oct 12, 2016. 1 Reply

On the 14th. of march we set up a very small veg. bed. see U tube" admirals corner incredidible edible"on the17th. of June we harvested the potatoes. they were first 'Earlies' and made just over 21…Continue

job opportuntiy

Started by Alison Hayward. Last reply by Alison Hayward May 30, 2015. 1 Reply

South somerset Mind (Yeovil) is looking for a horticultural therapist for the Vanessa project.The role is paid for 6 hours a week at £10 per hour.  Please phone Gill on 01935 474875 for further…Continue

Tags: therapy, horticultural, work, job

Surplus Produce

Started by David Croxton. Last reply by Caroline Lewis Sep 25, 2014. 10 Replies

As part of our InQEDible Edible Project, and as a member of the Incredible Edible Network, we are not only looking to grow crops on spare land in our local communities, but also to persuade our local…Continue

Tags: gardens, fruit, community, Quantocks, poverty

Community Gardens

Why Community Gardens?

Community gardens can be incredibly diverse - from a small shared corner of an allotment site, to a large acerage and paid support workers. Every site will be different and will reflect the time, energy and intentions of those involved.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Shared time, energy and labour in growing food
  • Shared produce
  • Relationship building
  • Growth in community connections, energy and self esteem
  • Biodiversity benefits, especially in urban areas

How to find your nearest community garden

There are a number of well established community gardens in Somerset. You can find them by district here.

You may also find one on foodmapper or through a national organisation, such as the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.

Starting a Community Garden

If there isn't a community garden in your area, you may be inspired to start one. New community gardens will most likely need many of the steps detailed in this guidebook.

You may wish to think about:

Above all, the best advice is to get support! Be inspired by other local projects and utilise their experience and knowledge in making your vision a reality. Make use of the experience and resources of national groups, such as the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, who are here to help.

Inspiring examples in Somerset

Axbridge Community Allotments Association

This group first set up a community garden within the town of Axbridge in 2008. They then went on to create a Community Food Forest on another site to experiment with fruit trees and bushes and other perennial planting. They opted for community sites over individual allotments as it was clear that time poor families couldn’t manage allotments but could be involved in something shared. Also growing together allows the work, skills and knowledge and produce to be shared so that huge amounts of food to be grown for little time investment per family. More.

Vikings Veg, Watchet

Vikings Veg is a Food Cooperative based at the Little Vikings Children's Centre in Watchet, West Somerset providing about 25 boxes of fruit and veg each week to the families and the local community. Following a successful funding application they were allocated part of the Knights Templar School wildlife area to turn into a community allotment with a polytunnel being erected during the summer of 2011. More.

Other local inspiring community gardens include Bishops Palace Community Garden in Wells, the Mount Community Garden in Frome, Milford Community Garden in YeovilShipham Community Allotment and Tatworth Growing Together. All the gardens are very different but all provide a positive example of what small groups of people can achieve together. 

Further sources of support & information

Organisations

Reports & Guides

  • Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens Starter Pack. Download here.
  • Women's Environmental Network's Guide to Food Growing & Social Housing. Download here.

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