Growing Food and Farming

Growing Food and Farming

Food and farming activities promote healthy living by providing an understanding of the countryside, farming and food. Linked with growing foods and experiencing what happens on a farm and in the countryside, there is the opportunity to learn about the environment through food and physical activity.

Community allotments are schemes which enable people to grow food as a group benefiting from the physical activity involved in gardening. Community allotments are often part of wider community initiatives, which have been developed to support the needs of the community.

Community allotments can provide healthy, cheap, fresh and locally grown food and additional services and benefits such as training and skills building, companionship and mental health benefits.

Guides and Toolkits

‘Growing Interest: a flavour of community growing in Scotland’ provides an overview of community food growing in Scotland and looks at the different types of activity taking place including, community allotments, community gardens, city farms, school growing projects and training and therapy projects. The booklet also examines the benefits of community food growing initiatives and provides advice on setting up a food growing initiative.
For more information click on ‘Growing Interest: a flavour of community growing in Scotland’.

The Food Vision website provides an Allotment Toolkit, which provides information on the benefits of allotments, a guide to legislation on allotments and useful information from local authorities on developing allotments.
To access to tool kit click on Food Vision Allotment Toolkit.

The Office of the Communities and Local Government have developed Allotments: a plot holders’ guide, the guide is for anyone who rents, or is thinking of renting, an allotment plot.

The Allotments Regeneration Initiative (ARI) is a partnership between several organisations interested in promoting allotment cultivation. Its vision is to get more people growing on allotments, on an individual and community basis. Its website contains a good site guide which lists allotment sites exhibiting good practice or innovative regeneration by region of the UK. The factsheets cover a range of topics such as fundraising for allotment associations and health and safety on allotments.
For more information click on The Allotments Regeneration Initiative.

Growing Round the Houses is a new briefing paper by Sustain and Women’s Environmental Network (WEN). It explains how social housing providers and their tenants can work together on their estates to grow food. As well giving advice on how to set up a food growing project on their estate, it describes examples such as the Spitalfields Estate Community Garden, where residents worked together to build a food growing space for vegetables and herbs popular with the local ethnic minority community.
For more information visit the Sustain website.

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening – The RHS Campaign for School Gardening aims to encourage and support schools to develop and actively use a school garden. As part of the campaign they provide teachers with resources through a website and a programme of CPD days.

Initiatives in Wales

Groundwork Wales are part of the Federation of Groundwork Trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Groundwork’s purpose is to build sustainable communities through joint environmental action. Through its work on health and the environment Groundwork can help people to grow their own fresh produce, reconnect people with their natural environment, increase their physical activity and educate children and adults about food and nutrition. There are four Groundwork Trusts in Wales, Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot, Caerphilly, Merthyr & Rhondda Cynon Taff and Wrexham & Flintshire.
For more information and to consider case studies visit the Groundwork in Wales Website .

The Riverside Community Garden (Allotment) Project has been developed by Riverside Community Market Association Social Enterprise Ltd. It was established in 2004 as a space in which local people can learn to grow food for themselves and their families, learn new skills and gain qualifications.
For more information click on www.riversidemarket.org.uk.

Riverside Market Garden is a new ethical model for sustainable local food production. This new 10 acre market garden is being created close to Cardiff to make more fresh food available to the local community. The site will produce a wide range of organic vegetables, with a focus on higher value crops such as salads, and some fruit. Some of this produce will be processed into soups, sauces or other products. Most of the produce will be sold at farmers’ markets or as ‘veg boxes’ direct to local consumers, whilst some higher value salads will also be sold to local restaurants. The polytunnels will extend the growing season and also to produce Asian and Caribbean vegetables that meet the needs of Cardiff’s diverse ethnic communities. Linked to the growing, they will also offer training and care placements, with educational visits for schools and colleges, and fun days out for community supporters. For more information please visit www.riversidemarketgarden.co.uk.

On Friday 2 July the first Ffresh Friday Farmers’ Market opened for business in Cardiff Bay. The market, which will run between 4pm and 8pm every Friday throughout the summer, will give office workers and tourists visiting Cardiff Bay a tasty start to the weekend. The weekly farmer’s market is the creation of ffresh restaurant’s Manager, Barnaby Hibbert, who approached the Riverside Community Market Association (RCMA – ‘the Riverside Market people’) with the offer of a site to set up a new market outside the restaurant. Stall holders will be selling a variety of locally-grown produce. It will be on the doorstep of both the Wales Millennium Centre and the National Assembly for Wales. For more information please contact Steve Garrett on 029 2019 0036 or email rcma@riversidemarket.org.uk.

Farming and Countryside Education (FACE), is an organisation which aims to promote understanding of food and farming in schools. FACE provides opportunities for schools to visit a local farm or have a farmer talk to a class, provides a range of resources and classroom materials. For more information visit the FACE website .

A three year Big Lottery Funded Project “Growing Together in Wales” has commenced to provide support and training for established, emerging and new Welsh community gardens and farms. The project is run by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, a registered charity, representing community & school farms and gardens throughout the UK. Community farms and gardens are an opportunity to combine community development with environmental enhancement, local food production and education. They assist those in most need of help in their local communities and are important tools in the promotion of healthy living. The project will focus on 3 key areas of work

  • Strengthening the capacity of gardens and farms through developing community enterprises
  • Promoting community inclusion and encouraging wider participation in community farms and gardens
  • ‘Turning Grey Green’ – supporting the development of enhanced local environments and communities through community gardening and farming that will increase access to locally grown produce.

For more information on the project please contact Katie Jones, Wales Development Worker on telephone number 02920 225942 or email katie@farmgarden.org.uk.

A dual-language map produced by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) which highlights community gardening and farming projects across Wales was launched on 9 June, 2010 at a special celebration event at the Senedd in Cardiff.

A new programme to help people set up and manage growing schemes in the heart of their community has been launched across Wales by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG). Called Tyfu Pobl (Growing People), the three year programme will support a variety of schemes, including city farms, allotments, community gardens, community orchards and Community Supported Agriculture schemes. It is a direct result of booming interest in community food growing and creating natural green spaces. The Welsh Government-funded programme will ensure that community groups don’t work in isolation – local people will be encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise so that connections between new and well-established growing schemes are created throughout Wales. A new development team is already in place, with regional offices in Cardiff, Pembrokeshire, Newtown and Bangor. Meanwhile a Community Enterprise and Funding Coordinator to help combat the withering effects of the current funding climate by accessing funding sources and working with groups so they become more financially sustainable and less grant reliant.

Orchard Cardiff is a partnership project between the Cardiff Transition Project, Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and Riverside Community Market Association, that will promote the benefits of planting fruit trees in an urban environment. It is hoped that the project will result in the greening of the urban environment, enhanced biodiversity, improved access to fresh locally grown fruit and increased community cohesion. For more information please contact Jenny Howell at the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens on 02920 225942 or email jenny.howell1@ntlworld.com.

Thirty two gardening projects from across Wales, involving Women’s Institute (WI) members and their local primary schools, are featured in the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI)-Wales Gardening with Schools Case Studies Book. To receive a hard copy of the booklet please send an A4 SAE (78p) to NFWI-Wales, 19 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9HA. For an electronic version please e-mail walesoffice@nfwi-wales.org.uk.