Local garden owners and keen fruit and veg growers in the China Clay Villages, are being asked to come forward and register their interest in participating in Growing Together.
Growing Together is the new China Clay garden share project that matches people who live in the area who have spare garden space or unused greenhouses with other local people who would like to grow their own but don’t have enough space.
Andrea, the project co-ordinator and a keen gardener herself, explained how it works: ”We have a list of people with spare garden space and also a list of potential growers and we start off by trying to match them up. People have different ideas as to how and what they are willing to share and so we try to make sure that these are mutual. We carry out various checks to make sure that people are introduced safely and once people have been ‘introduced’ and are happy with the match they are able to agree their own rules. We then provide templates to help draw up an agreement so that everyone is clear about expectations.”
Andrea went on to explain: ”We also help the new growers get started by providing starter packs which include seeds and tools and then support them by offering access to a toolbank, book reference library, training sessions and events. By providing all this, the project hopes to get people of all ages and abilities involved in growing their own.”
Funding for the project means that membership for garden sharers will be free for the first year. Members will get access to the matching service, CRB checks, garden share agreement templates, insurance, starter packs, seeds, tools, books, training courses & events.
After the initial free membership garden sharers will be asked to pay just £10 annually, which the project organisers feel is excellent value considering a small food bed could save a family a considerable amount of money.
Andrea elaborated: “What would cost as little as £50 to grow could cost over £1000 to buy in a supermarket! Even if you don’t want to share a garden you can still access the seeds, tool bank & book library, courses and training just by become a supporter. Plus any income generated goes back into keeping the project running for the good of our local communities.