Breightmet Community food growing Hub is situated just off New Lane and is accessed via an estate cut through that people use as a short cut. The site itself around a quarter of an acre in size and is fenced off because of its former use as storage yard for Bolton at Home’s tech services as a place where building materials were stored.
In 2015 we began work on this blank canvas of a site and built raised beds from recycled wood from the Cawdor housing estate, despite a relatively late start on the site we managed to grow a fair amount of food which was given to people who were subjected to benefit sanctions and people on low or no incomes. During the summer we held a community cook in, where we made a large pan full of vegetable curry and invited our growers and other members of the community onto the site to have lunch with us and talk about growing, we expected around a dozen people to turn up, all in all we fed around fifty five people that day.
In the spring of 2016 we began planting and sowing on the site which was now completely kitted out with raised beds, half way through the gardening season we lost most of our plug plants and seedling through vandalism, but we bounced back and sowed late summer crop seeds.
Men in Sheds
A men in Shed project also began onsite this year and has been running successfully for the last six months, this project supports men who are socially isolated and provides a social element where the men meet up on a once a week basis where they learn different elements of woodwork, carpentry, gardening and general tool use.
Hubs that serve the community
The idea behind the Breightmet Hub is to provide a local resource to the community where they are able to learn about organic horticulture, learn new and useful skills, and attend men in sheds sessions. Within the short two year existence around a hundred and fifty people have come onto the site and accessed it in some way, the Hub is also ideally located in the centre of the estate where the people live who access the site.