Penparcau Planting Project

PPP has created and manages a community garden in Penparcau to grow food locally, tackle food poverty and create a wildlife area.

Penparcau is blooming!
Local children growing their own vegetables with upcycled planters.
Our bee and wildlife garden.

Our story

Penparcau Planting Project (PPP) began in May 2020 as a reactive measure to provide a community garden for people to enjoy, grow vegetables, tackle food poverty and support nature in our village. Our focus group found the garden provides numerous health benefits: improved access to food, nutrition, physical activity, mental health and community engagement.

Working with partners such as Penglais Community Gardens, West Wales Housing and local businesses, we make growing food accessible, affordable and allow residents to use their space creatively.

PPP has provided a wealth of benefits to communities such as Cae Job, a social housing estate with over 150 residents. Working with West Wales Housing we turned 8 old, dumped concrete planters into accessible growing planters. With volunteers and residents we dug them out, painted them, filled them with compost and planted vegetables and herbs. This is now a resident led project and was so successful we were asked to do the same on an adjoining estate, Parc Dinas. By enabling access and opportunity to grow in these estates we have created:

Self-reliance: residents have begun to assert control over their food supply.
Sense of purpose: Cae Job and Parc Dinas community growing takes some pressure off a teetering food system.
New skills: invaluable growing skills are being passed to future generations.
Cleaner, safer food: Residents are in charge of quality control and can use natural, organic methods.
Healthier diet: food gardens naturally contain the healthiest foods and encourage children to try different vegetables.

We took over the Council planters in the village planting an array of beautiful flowers donated by the council. We applied for a grant with ‘Keep Wales Tidy’ and received two large planters, a greenhouse, tools, fruit trees, a supply of seeds, two recycled benches, fencing, and a tool shed. With this grant we can expand our growing areas and make more planters to put around the village.

We aim to see each family in Penparcau grow, even if it’s just one item, and use PPP as a platform to grow seeds, exchange and swap. We aim to have one street on herbs, another on vegetables and another on fruits. From our crops we aim to do food shares and free community lunches. We want the next generation of Penparcau to learn where their food comes from and enjoy growing their own.

PPP will continue for many years - we could even have a community co-op with the food we produce. We have had offers from residents to volunteer after lockdown or donate garden space, and local businesses that want to help. The project is growing daily, and we expect that by mid 2021 we will have over half the houses in Penparcau involved!

We are now proposing to put more planters in deprived areas where residents have no access to green space or gardens. Our planting project is just over a year old now but has provided so much for our community and brought the pride back into Penparcau.

Our advice

Never be afraid to ask for donations from supermarkets, they have lots of near dead flowers and vegetation they waste each year that they will give to you for free. Try and save as much as you can to plant and share and whatever can’t be saved use to make your own compost.
Ensure you have water butts, water is very precious and big gardens and vegetation take a lot of watering to use all the resources you can to collect rain water.
Get your children growing, even if it is just one item, it will spark their interest and if a child grows their own vegetables they are more likely to eat them.  
Using old wood make planters for your community especially those that have no access to a garden. 
Go online to get free seeds especially bee-friendly ones, there are lots of companies who give them away for free and it is an easy way to re-wild an area that the bees will love.
Chat while you plant. PPP has been so successful in recruiting volunteers who have been vital in growing the project around the village.  

Our metrics

  • The footfall in the community garden and the interest from local residents in growing your own food.

Read more: https://penparcau.cymru/penparcau-planting-project/

Share this initiative