Dundee City Council's story
Community gardens have been established across the city, focusing on its more deprived areas and working with local community groups to make the projects successful. This foundation has enabled the strategy to be more far-reaching than many, as we have already embedded local food growing in the Local Plan. The MAXwell Centre, the Ninewells Therapeutic Garden, the Attic Garden, Tay View, Fruit Bowls and Whorterbank Community Gardens and many more have all shown this can work. DCC now has ambitious plans to establish a major community market garden as part of the strategy.
Organisations like Social Farms and Gardens, Trellis, the Caley, One Seed Forward all offer support and inspiration. Authority for the FGS comes from the top, under Scottish Government legislation, but it is implemented from the bottom as people take steps to give their children a secure and healthy future.
Useful learnings from Dundee City Council
In addition to over 500 allotment plots, Dundee has a multitude of community gardens which have already started mobilising the cultural shift towards local food growing. In 2013, Dundee City Council established a Community Allotment Officer post and identified £200K of capital funding to establish community growing spaces focused in areas of deprivation.
These and independent projects such as the MAXwell Centre which has been growing for many years and has become a local institution with hundreds of school pupils benefiting from its wonderful growing space, have enabled local communities to become involved in growing on their doorstep. However, there is much more that can be done and the Local Food Growing Strategy makes recommendations that can start to make local food growing even more accessible. Several Dundee students have researched community growing and their work formed the basis for our Local Food Growing strategy consultation. Having an annual networking event helped boost people's confidence and was a useful source of suggestions.