Latest from Northfield Ecocentre:
We will be developing a community garden on three plots of land behind the high street in Northfield. The land will be used to grow fruit and vegetables to be shared amongst the community and will include a forest garden, schools area and sensory garden. The project will also see the creation of sensory planters for Northfield high street and Fruit harvesting sessions with partner Urban Harvest, picking fruit that would otherwise go to waste.
Georgia Stokes (Manager of Northfield Ecocentre) says “We are really excited to be working on this project. There are benefits for all of us, our community and the environment, from growing our own food: our weekly food bills will lessen; home grown is tastier and healthier because it’s fresh. It’s also fun, good exercise and we can learn new skills from each other.
“We hear from many people that they would love to grow food but don’t have suitable gardens or don’t know where to start. Through this project we will make food growing accessible for everyone and will create a fantastic community space to be used by us all.”
The project will involve local residents, schools, community organisations and businesses, and will be using the creation of these gardens as an opportunity to train local residents, increase skills and build community. Over the coming months there will be a series of open days, public events and training workshops, all free.
Northfield Ecocentre hopes to use the skills already present in the community to develop the project, bringing people together to learn, share and grow.
Georgia continues: “There are lots of people within our community who are very skilled in a certain area, whether it’s growing food, carpentry, water conservation, composting or something else we would love you to get involved. If you don’t have any skills or experience that’s great too, just bring your enthusiasm!”
A further part of the project will be to pick existing fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Working with Urban Harvest, volunteers and staff will pick fruit from private gardens and community land and turn it into juice or preserves.
Luke Pearson, Northfield’s Orchards Manager describes the project: “A lot of fruit goes to waste each year as it may be too high to reach or people don’t have the time to harvest and preserve it. We will pick it for you and we can all share in the produce. We are looking for volunteer fruit pickers so do get in touch!”
There are some serious reasons for starting the project as Georgia explains: “We are currently facing dual threats of climate change and food shortages. By choosing to grow some of our own food, working together, we can reduce our impacts on both. Food grown locally obviously does not have to be transported half way round the world, it is not intensively farmed, and is not sprayed repeatedly with chemicals, all of which have high carbon emissions.”
If you’re interested in helping with the community food growing plot, the next session is on 24th October. Click here for details