Early on we gave out 20 or so seedling boxes for free, many of which were to residents that had never tried to grow anything before, we saw a need to do something and encourage people to grow more for themselves at home, reduce food poverty, cook local organic produce, reduce food miles and also look for unused spaces around the village that we could try and take on.
We aim to grow connections in the community between different areas and age groups, sharing skills, and encouraging physical and mental health, maybe even in time creating employment opportunities.
We then had 1500 letters printed and delivered to approx. 1300 households in the village with a colouring in competition on the back of the letters and each of the winners got a seedling box, most entries were from children in the village. This helped to grow our following on social media and spread the word about the initiative.
Working together with Curo (Housing Association) and BANES we then arranged to do some fruit and nut tree planting around the Elmhurst / Catherine Way estate as our first initiative to be followed up with other edible planting when funds allow.
We have started producing seedlings to be sold at Gardenalia on the London Road in Bath with profits going back into the project
We are also aiming to start food buying Cooperative through Suma / Essential / Good Club or similar, and hold a market in the Autumn.
We're hoping that the project grows momentum and that we can secure some land to start a community supported agriculture scheme.
What have you learnt that others will find most useful?
- Finding out who owns what land can be tricky and takes time.
- Funding can take considerable time to come through so start applications as soon as possible.
- Try and share the load and look at other projects and providers as you may be able to link in with them.
Measures of success?
Read more: http://www.growbatheaston.co.uk