As it has come to the end of the Traditional gardening season of 2014 it seemed appropriate to provide some sort of summery of the people and groups whom we have worked with, interacted, and supported in any way during the course of 2014.
Get Growing Greenroyd
The get growing Greenroyd project was a collaboration between ourselves and Housing charity Bolton at Home . The project itself involved working with six families on Greenroyd Avenue in Breightmet, on a Council estate with a high level of economic exclusion and social deprivation. We provided the families with a basic growing kit consisting of small upright greenhouses, seeds, plants, compost, fruit tree, raised bed and fruit bushes. We then helped them set up their growing area and offered them hands on support on a once a week basis, and online support that they could access from us any time. The outcome of this project is that twenty four people on the Avenue were able to provide at least some of their fruit and vegetable needs from their gardens. When the project finished at the end of September we provided growers on the Avenue with seeds for the 2015 growing season as all families were keen to continue growing.
Community Roots project
The Community Roots project in Great Lever is our HQ where we are based, the site itself is situated on disused tennis courts in the grounds of Southfields Pub in Great Lever, and is only a three minute walk away from where we live. On the site this year the activities that we have engaged in to address food poverty in our local area is by providing gardening training sessions where we provide local people with the skills and seeds they need to begin gardening at home, we have also managed to outreach some of this work by visiting the homes and working on the gardens of some of those people who have attended our sessions. The other way that we have worked towards addressing food poverty is by donating a sizable amount of food grown on the site to a local community group ran by women from around Bolton called The spirit of Trust, this group provide food parcels and other essentials, including hot meals to people affected the imposed austerity measures of the Government, the food we donated during the summer was used on the same day to feed people a hot evening meal made from fresh ingredients.
Get growing Great Lever
Our get growing Great Lever is close to our hearts as we are actually engaging with and working with members of the community in which we live. This project is a similar setup to our Get growing Greenroyd project in terms of the support we provide and also the fact that people in our area are those who have been the most hardest hit by austerity measures. This project has enabled around forty people to provide themselves with their own supply of cleanly grown organic fruit and vegetables. In the early spring of 2015 we will provide our Great Lever growers with the seeds they need to continue growing in the new season of 2015.
Garden and Well being @ The Courtyard
We began the gardening and well being sessions quite late in the growing season but were still able to deliver many sessions running into September, this project was delivered in a Kitchen Courtyard of local mental health charity Bolton Steps where we helped their service users to grow food and herbs with a once a week session. This project will begin again in the early spring of 2015 when we plan to share one of our allotment plots in Great Lever with Bolton Steps so that they are able to grow some produce for their community cafe.
Gardening clinics @ Beechcroft and Red Lane community allotments
These sessions were held at two community allotment sites in Bolton, one in Darcy Lever, and one in Breightmet, the sessions were ran on the third weekend of every month. We provided growing resources such as seeds and plants, and on site support to growers at both sites. During this growing season many of the growers on both sites have grown a sizable amount of fruit and vegetables, and the great news about this project is that Bolton at Home who are funding it have decided to run sessions right through winter which we will use to increase fruit growing capacity through the planting of fruit bush cuttings and tree grafting.