Growing Interest: a flavour of community growing in Scotland


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Growing Interest: a flavour of community growing in Scotland

  1. 1. Faifly Dundee Johnstone Dumbarton Islay Gorgie Coatbridge Nairn Lunnasting Kippen Kelvinbridge Hamiltonhill growing in Scotland Redhall a flavour of communityScottish Community Diet Project 2002 Stirling Lochalsh Stornaway Growing Interest :
  2. 2. Growing Interest :a flavour of community growing in Scotland
  3. 3. AcknowledgementsThe Scottish Community Diet Project would like to acknowledge the many contributions that have resulted in‘Growing Interest: a flavour of community growing in Scotland’The need for such a publication arose from SCDP’s contact with a number of local and national agencies, particularlythe Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, without whose collaboration this publication would neverhave come about. As well as contributing the section ‘Creating a Community Growing Project’, the Federation haveacted as consultants (unpaid!) on the entire undertaking.Having recognised the need for such a publication, SCDP were delighted when David Black of Communicable Healthagreed to take on the task of producing ‘Growing Interest’. David’s depth of knowledge of public health, his trackrecord of producing practical and accessible publications, and his genuine enthusiasm for the topic are all reflected inthe final product.We were delighted when Scotland’s Food and Health Co-ordinator agreed, at quite short notice, to contribute her‘vision of a growing society’.However, ‘Growing Interest’ would be of no interest whatsoever without the contribution of all those local projectswho gave up their time to share their experience with the rest of the country.Finally SCDP would like to thank colleagues in the Scottish Consumer Council for all their support.ISBN 0-907067-88-3Further copies of this publication are available from:Scottish Community Diet Projectc/o Scottish Consumer Council,Royal Exchange House,100 Queen StreetGlasgow, G1 3DN0141 226
  4. 4. ContentsVision for a Growing Society Page 5Background Page 6City Farms Page 10Community Gardens Page 12School Growing Projects Page 14Training and Therapy Projects Page 16Allotments Page 18Growing for Resale Page 20Creating a Community Growing Project Page 22Funding Page 26Way to Go Page 29Scottish Projects Page 30References Page 31Useful Contacts and Sources Page 32Further Reading Page 35
  5. 5. Page 6 Growing Interest
  6. 6. Vision for a Growing SocietyWhat we eat has a profound effect The World Health Organization in And you thought you were doing itupon our health 2001 published an urban and ‘peri- all for the taste!The Scottish Diet Action Plan was urban’ Food and Nutrition Action Growers will find that they can linkpublished in July 1996 in recognition Plan. In this it presented what it called into a wide array of activities withinof the effect of diet on our health. their communities, adding value toThe plan was a blueprint for action ‘…elements for community action to existing projects: food co-ops,over the following decade and there promote social cohesion and reduce community farms, community cafeswas widespread recognition that it inequalities through local food and herb gardens. Growers can be anwould take the combined and production for local consumption.’ enormous asset to schools, disabilityconcerted efforts of everyone to turn resource centres, youth trainingthe Scottish diet around. It will take I think this is an exciting centres and a range of communitythe nation to change the nation’s confirmation of the value of local projects. Growing projectsdiet. All of us, in the public and in growing and of local growers. A themselves should find assistance,the private sectors, in our work lives mandate and a call to action from the support and, potentially, funding byand in our home lives, have a part to WHO. Its aim is to promote health linking to local authorities, NHSplay. and quality of life through joined-up Boards, local enterprise companies approaches to food and nutrition and voluntary organisations.A balanced and nutritious diet is policy in local communities. Thevital for health but how we choose to benefits of increasing the amount The most exciting potential for me ismake up that diet is also important. and the distribution of locally grown the impact that growing can have onWe need to consider (those of us food, especially fruits and vegetables, children’s attitudes and awareness oflucky enough not to be living from are extolled. I believe these benefits the food they eat, the planet they livehand to mouth and who have the are to be gained whether you are on and the people with whom theyfreedom and capacity to choose) growing for yourself and your family, share their lives.where the food comes from, how it is your community or your region. Ingrown, how far it has travelled, and Scottish terms this means ‘That, my grumpy girls, is why you arethe environmental and social impact identifying, and shouting about, the going to turn off that telly and get outof the food production system. How environmental, social, and direct and here and help me pull up thesewe feed ourselves is important in so indirect economic benefits of dockens!’many ways. boosting home production as well as the health outcomes. Gillian KynochGrowing locally Scottish Food and HealthThe products of the vegetable patch Growing, buying, and eating more Co-ordinatoror the orchard are so much more vegetables and fruits will reduce ourthan the produce itself. Health, good risk of the ‘big three’, heart disease,diet, exercise, food knowledge, bio- stroke and cancer, at the same timediversity, that ‘look I made it myself!’ promoting a healthier environmentfeeling, too often lost from our adult and sustainable development.lives.Vision for a Growing Society Page 7
  7. 7. BackgroundWhat this booklet is for booklet then gives a flavour of about the links between poor dietThis booklet forms an introduction community food growing projects and poor health. One result hasto community food growing in around the country. Other sections been the development of healthScotland. It gives an overview of give advice on how to set up your promotion and education actionwhat’s happening in Scotland and own project, potential sources of aiming to change eating patternslooks at some ideas that you may funding and information andwish to translate into action. contacts. Poverty and access to food Market power is concentrated in theWork for this booklet began by Why food? big five supermarkets leading totrying to find out how many You can’t open the paper or turn on many local shops being priced outcommunity food growing projects the TV these days without another of the market(2). More than seventythere are in Scotland. The directory article about producing, selling or per cent of all food is now boughtof Scottish community food eating food. Slow food, fast food, through the six major Scottishinitiatives ‘Food in the Community’(1) cheap food and food shopping, food retailers (3) and local food shoppinglisted 180 projects undertaking over poisoning, the lack of local (particularly in poorer areas) is300 activities around food, but only production and as this is Scotland, scarce and expensive.four per cent of those activities were lots of views about why Scots arefood growing. killing themselves with frying pans. Public health and food safety This booklet is slightly different. issuesHowever a search of the databases of While it is also about food it is We are more aware than ever of thethe Scottish Community Diet Project essentially concerned with practical public health risks related to theand the Federation of City Farms measures to improve food production of food, such as BSE,and Community Gardens suggested production and access in local CJD and Foot and Mouth disease,that more growing initiatives were in communities. and food poisoning incidentsexistence and further exploration led related to food preparation andto the information presented here. It is difficult to ignore the fact that storage. Scotland has food related problems.This booklet is not comprehensive, The main concerns could be Our growing ‘fast food’ culturefor it is in the nature of many summarised as follows: Basic food products are cheap, thecommunity organisations to change real profits come from foodor sometimes fade away. It should be • nutrition and health processing and retailing.thought of as a snapshot of • poverty and access to food Consequently, pre-processed andcommunity growing activity and an • public health and food safety ‘fast’ foods have become the norm inintroduction to starting and issues, and society resulting in a loss of cookingmaintaining them. • our growing ‘fast food’ culture. and preparation skills. As Eric Schlosser points out in ‘Fast FoodShape of this booklet Nutrition and health Nation’(4)The booklet starts by looking at the Concern about the effect of our dietbackground to food and nutrition on our health isn’t recent or new. ‘The whole experience of buying fastand why we need to change our food Over the past twenty years much food has become so routine, sogrowing and eating practices. The more evidence has been gathered thoroughly unexceptional andPage 8 Growing Interest
  8. 8. mundane, that it is now taken for food locally in Scotland. Beforegranted, like brushing your teeth or looking at the projects it would bestopping for a red light.’ useful to look at what support is there and what are the outcomesIn an update of the old hippie maxim possible from the projects.of ‘You are what you eat’ he pointsout that; Policy framework‘.. a nation’s diet can be more revealing Scotland has always had policies andthan its art or literature.’ laws around food production and selling. These have a long historyWhat’s next? and in the early days were concernedIn terms of the history of humanity with the need for stable and self-the recent changes in our diet have sufficient agricultural production.taken place over a relatively short However by the time of thetime span, about 100-150 years. industrial revolution with the growthThese changes were driven by the of large towns and cities andfarming and industrial revolution associated developments in foodand the urbanisation of society. Most retailing these policies were aboutof us now live in cities and have lost minimum quality standards andthe connection our forebears once adulteration. Nowadays withhad with the land. Increasingly food growing concerns about food, healthculture is influenced by what is on and social inclusion a new approachsupermarket shelves and advertised to public policy around food hason television. been developed.As a society we are now more aware ‘ Scotland is unusual in having a veryof the need to change our diet and carefully calculated, nutritionally-the way in which we produce food. consistent food policy which wasWe can see opportunities for change written with multi-disciplinary inputbut these are against a backdrop of with health as its primary increasing level of centralisation The Scottish Diet Action Plan … wasof power over food production and pioneering by uniting in pursuit ofsale. This booklet does not argue long-term health improvements theagainst the food industry or initially disparate (and some opposed)supermarkets. What the booklet interests of the entire ‘food network’:hopes to show is that communities farmers, fishermen, food processors,can take back some control over food retailers, caterers, educators, healthand what they eat and through this services and media, as well astake away some of the power of the consumers. The SDAP represents afood industry to tell us what we want remarkable consensus between theseto eat. However it is not simply disciplines. All agreed to support everyabout food, it is about supporting aspect of the plan.’ (5)and building stronger communitiesthrough successful and fun action at The Scottish Diet Action Plan(6) waslocal level. continued by the new Labour Government in 1997 and theThere are a huge range of Scottish Parliament is furtheropportunities for growing healthy developing it.Background Page 9
  9. 9. One of the nine areas identified in their community or the country as a support ... they have the option of doingthe SDAP as being key to a healthier whole. What they do make, is the part of the labour intensive work neededScotland is that of local community fundamental contribution of their ... healthy food is produced locally at costaction. Over the past twenty years skills and knowledge to an ongoing price with no intermediaries ’ (9)there has been a range of community national strategy to tacklingaction around food and health. It Scotland’s unacceptable inequalities Earthshare believes that thecould be argued that these actions in diet and health. Community Supported Agriculturehave helped the development of approach that they use helps buildpolicy ideas around Health and What can we get from strong communities and that this isSocial Inclusion. The contribution of community growing? reflected in their levels of subscribercommunity development and in Over the past 10 years there has support.particular community food initiatives been a developing interest in smallhave been recognised in Scottish scale food growing in cities, around How we found the projectspolicies on health, social inclusion the world this can be seen in an There has not yet been a specificand rural development. international context in the work of audit of Scottish community growing the United Nations around Urban projects and this publication hasCommunity action Agriculture(7) and nationally by the grown from a ‘scoping exercise’ usingAs well as working in collaborative work of Sustain(8) and the Federation contacts from both the SCDP, and theand inclusive ways, local community of City Farms and Community Federation of City Farms, databasesprojects are very good at developing Gardens. to find out what is happening at theinnovative approaches to local moment. The databases provided theproblems. Food grown in cities in the third contact list for a series of exploratory world is a key part of the local food telephone interviews. TelephoneSome initiatives are purely food production network with many interviews were also carried out withfocused while others are part of small businesses providing a much workers in Health Promotionwider health, environmental or anti- needed local service. In contrast, in Departments, Food Futures projectspoverty initiatives. A number of the industrialised west, small scale and other active organisations. Theseprojects will have staff (both lay and growing projects are peripheral to discussions provided a frameworkprofessional) working for them. the mass production of foodstuffs for shaping this description ofBoth they and projects with no staff and service ‘niche’ markets eg small growing projects in Scotland.of their own, also rely on access to organic producers.specialist staff particularly from local A set of visits to, and interviewsauthorities, the health service and Some community growing projects with, workers gave informationthe voluntary sector. Some initiatives attempt to address issues around about projects and recommendationshave their origins in an anti-poverty poverty and food access; often for further contacts and exploration.agenda while others come from a including the development of workdiet, health or environmental skills and better health as outcomes. Inclusion of projects in thisperspective. Invariably these agendas publication is not intended to be amerge as the initiatives highlight in There is also a strand of this work judgement on those either includedpractice the much sought after that sees the activities as supporting or excluded. They have been chosenjoined-up thinking. a return to the ideal of active and to reflect the variety of activity that supportive communities. For can be found, not to be a repres-A common theme however is that no example the Earthshare Project in entative sample of the spread ofinitiative is claiming whether Forres has described itself as: projects. The choice reflects theindividually or collectively that it is diversity of work going on in thethe sole or even primary solution to ‘... a shared community allotment to country and is intended to givethe problems of food and diet facing which subscribers commit a full year‘s readers a flavour of what is there.Page 10 Growing Interest
  10. 10. Projects are presented under one (or breadth of activity that can be found One of the issues identified by many ofmore) of the headings found below. in many projects. For example the the people interviewed for this LETS work in Stirling could be publication is the loss of understanding in our urban communities that growing• city farms and described as a training organisation, food is something everyone can do. This community gardens a support organisation, an organic was highlighted by the story of a visitor• school growing projects grower, a food provider and part of a to Glasgow who came from Albania and• training and therapy projects local exchange scheme. Therefore was being taken on a tour of one of the• allotments, and our categorisation has been carried city’s deprived peripheral estates. As• growing and selling. out in order to produce as interesting she was being driven through this a booklet as possible with apologies housing estate she asked, ‘Why are theOne of the difficulties of describing to projects who may have entered gardens empty?’ After a puzzling few moments on both sides, the localsthe projects in categories is the themselves in a different category. understood her being perplexed by the notion that deprived people would not grow food to feed themselves, and the Benefits of community growing projects local guide was puzzling over our culture which values crisps and frozen In looking at proposals for the development of urban agriculture in chips over home grown ‘tatties’. London, Sustain identified a number of benefits to the City and Community. These covered: Environmental • greater biological diversity of plants and animals • less waste, resulting from more composting activity and less food packaging • reduced food transportation through greater availability of local produce • less pollution and lower pollution related costs from the greater environmental awareness generated by urban agriculture. Economic • some commercially viable jobs in food growing, processing and marketing, and in composting and related industries • a boost to the leisure industry, through increased sales of gardening inputs • a stronger sustainable food and agriculture industry (urban and rural) • business benefits through greener, more attractive local environments, a better public image and more skilled and motivated workers • contributions to the alternative economy through LETS and social enterprises. Health • health and social benefits, so reducing the burden on statutory services • increased consumption of fruit and vegetables through greater availability of affordable fresh produce • opportunities for physical activity stress relief for everyone and mental health gains for those with specific difficulties. Community development • more active participation in community life and a practical focus for working with others across a variety of social divisions • opportunities for delivering many of Government’s area-based regeneration objectives. Educational • opportunities for school curriculum teaching, vocational training and for lifelong learning, training and employment • opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged people. (adapted from 8)Background Page 11
  11. 11. City FarmsThe City Farms movement started in the Gorgie City Farm1970s. There are now around 60 City This community project was initiatedFarms across the UK and there are two in 1977 by a group of local residentsfarms in Scotland: Gorgie City Farm inEdinburgh and Knowetop in East in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh. TheDunbartonshire. In the farms there is farm opened to the public in 1982.some horticultural production and Gorgie City Farm is situated in aanimal keeping. A tuckshop or cafe and densely populated urban area,during the season a stall selling some of squeezed into a 2.5 acre site.the farm’s produce. Originally derelict, the site is in anCity Farms primarily serve a community area that was identified by the Cityand educational role, providing a day Council as being short of open space.out for families and a range ofeducational activities for school groups. The farm aims to advance the David BlackSome have developed teaching packs education of users in agricultural andwhich link the farm’s activities with horticultural practices, in the careschool curriculum requirements. For Gorgie farm produce for salemany urban children, particularly those and husbandry of animals, in homefrom the inner city, a visit to the City crafts, country life and related The farm is open seven days a week,Farm can be the first time they come into subjects and in this process to liaise including public holidays, andcontact with agricultural animals and closely with schools and other admission is free. The farm runsfood actually growing in the ground. educational organisations. many activities. As well as a working farm, with a range of animals andOn a City Farm the emphasis is oninvolvement rather than observation, It also provides opportunities for all growing areas. The farm also has aand the Federation is at pains to correct users for recreation and leisure time pet lodge, a cafe and a range of clubs,anyone who thinks of its member Farms occupations, particularly those with activities and projects. Educationas ‘zoos’. All members of the local special needs. It aims to promote and community inclusion are highcommunity are encouraged to make community development by on the agenda of the farm.visits and become involved in farm involving users (of all ages) in theactivities, and there are often regularand strong links with local schools and activities of the farm. The farm’s community inclusionother community groups. project (lottery funded) has a rangeA range of training activities isundertaken. Many farms participate inYouth Training, Employment Training orother official schemes, and have contactwith local schools and colleges.Weekend clubs for local children arealso a feature of some farms. David BlackFederation of City Farmsand Community Gardens Greenhouses and teaching area at GorgiePage 12 Growing Interest
  12. 12. Knowetop Community Farm Knowetop Community Farm in West Dumbarton started in 1980. Initially the farm consisted of makeshift huts, a few goats, chickens, rabbits and a band of committed people. Hard work was the order of the day. Pallets were collected and laid so that work could begin regardless of the mud. Twenty years on the farm covers six acres, has five paid staff and many volunteers and is a registered training centre for animal care and horticulture as well as a New Deal provider. David BlackMillenium education garden at Georgie Admission to the farm is free but a small charge is made for groupof activities and courses, one of the school visits if they require a guided tour. The farm takes great interestmost popular being the bread- in work with schools and is putting together its own educational pack.making course. It also provides ‘We have children who come here who have never seen a goat or chickenpottery, gardening, herbal remedy before’ says David Gallacher the projects and volunteer co-ordinator.and soup-making courses as well as ‘One boy couldn’t believe that a chicken came from an egg’ David is keen tooffice skills and mobile pet service install an incubator so that if schools book 21 days in advance they cancourses see eggs hatching on the day of the visit.The farm has an education garden The farm has a range of funders which it works closely with;and associated greenhouses that Lennox Partnership, West Dunbartonshire SIP Partnership, Westsupport a range of activities Dunbartonshire Council and many other organisations.including school visits and trainingcourses. The farm garden producing vegetables in accordance with organic principles was developed three years ago and will shortly be seekingA range of foodstuffs are grown on certification from the soil association. The vegetable garden has beenthe farm for use in the cafe and for established by a devoted adult volunteer (Rose Harvey) who maintainssale. Some of the clubs/schools also the vegetable plots throughout the year. Assistance is given from thetake part in growing, eg the Community Fund and a small grant from the Scottish Community Dietphotograph below is of the farm’s Project. In the summer the farm sells vegetables at low cost directly to‘Soup Barrels’- these are large local residents and visitors. the farm is open 7 days, 10a.m. - 4p.m.container gardens growing carrot and (late opening in summer months)coriander or potato and leek- all youneed for soup, bar cooking! David Black Knowtop‘Soup Barrels’ at Georgie Farm Vegetables for sale at KnowetopCity Farms Page 13
  13. 13. Community GardensWhat exactly is ‘Community Gardening’? Renfrewshire community focus on children’s play and leisureBroadly speaking it describes projects gardens helps stimulate young minds andwhich use gardens or the process of As part of their Sustainable encourages them to learn moreworking on the land to enhance orimprove communities. Many of these Communities Programme effectively.communities are made up of Renfrewshire Council has developeddisadvantaged or marginalised an extensive project which includes Community garden at the Cherrie Centreindividuals. Prisoners, the poor and the development of 11 community Based mainly in schools (see nextthose suffering from mental health gardens. The Sustainable section) and family centres the workproblems are among those represented Communities Programme was of the project has had many such communities. ‘CommunityGardening’ is not a subject that fits developed to drive forward the local The development of the communityeasily into one discipline. It Agenda 21( LA21) process by garden at the Cherrie Centre has beenencompasses horticulture, city planning, involving and empowering fun for all users of the centre from thelandscape design, education, communities. The programme is nursery children to pensioners, after-community regeneration and funded by the Social Inclusion school care to the disabled groups, alldevelopment, natural history, social Programme, European Regional have contributed. Although thehistory… all of these have an impact onthe quality of life in the community. Development Fund and Forward project group started with the(People Land and Sustainability website) Scotland. Piloted as a one-worker intention of creating a green oasis in project in three priority areas, it has a bleak area the garden has been now been rolled out to cover eleven anything but just green with its blaze Partnership areas and has a staff of of annual colour in planters and five. hanging baskets, bulbs in spring and herbs growing in tubs. Last year the Community empowerment shrubs were established and the group This project has focused very closely will continue to develop a sustainable on what communities actually want, garden area with perennial planting and developed groups to work on this year. The Sustainable and deliver quick, practical, low cost Communities Programme has means of meeting those needs. matched fund with the local council grant to finish off the garden with a Community benefits wheelchair accessible path and Benefits to the community have been decorative entrance to the garden. immediate and tangible. Eleven local With the help of art students a wall gardening projects have been mural, sculpture (totem poles) and a established involving 57 adults and mural for the shed is planned. A 90 children. Nine communities learn-to-garden course has been entered ‘Beautiful Scotland in running for two years. Trips with the Bloom’, so pleased were they with children, local planting of seeds and the transformation they themselves bulbs and community clean-ups have had brought about in their areas. developed from the work in the People have been empowered to gardens. access jobs and training, (more than 35 project volunteers have been Moorpark Family Centre FCF&CG supported to find jobs) while the As in the Cherrie Centre, work withBig vegetables in a community gardenPage 14 Growing Interest
  14. 14. under 5s in the Family Centre intheir play area/garden has been acatalyst for the centre’s staff andparents to develop the environmentalaspects of their curriculum and theschool has been recognised with anEducation Department Award fortheir efforts in this area. With the IDEAhelp of the ‘Organic Resource IDEA garden-raised beds and polytunnelRecovery Project’ a wormery has used in the centre’s lunch club and post mid March 2002 (one-yearbeen re-established in the centre. sold to the community. contract, 20 hour post)Potatoes are planted in stacked 3. Contract for training withrecycled car tyres in the play area Buchanan Street Project Langside College (Glasgow FEand vegetable seeds have been sown A community garden in Coatbridge College)in the flower planters to allow the in North Lanarkshire, this project 4. Training starts in April 2002.growing of vegetables along with has been set up to encourageannual flowers. integration of people with learning disabilities within the wider community. The garden is designed as a training environment, with Buchanan Street Gardens recreation areas, potting sheds, greenhouse and polytunnel area and raised growing beds. Now in the second stage of its development it is intended to grow produce for use in Buchanan Street Gardens - Before Sustainable Communities the adjacent resource centre and to be sold to the public at large. Buchanan Street Gardens Stages of development of the projectEverybody helps in the Renfrewshire community Start 1996-1997gardens 1. Piece of ground identifiedIslay IDEA Garden 2. Ground handed over to group byOn the island of Islay the Islay North Lanarkshire Council Buchanan Street Gardens - AfterDisabled Endeavours and Action 3. Volunteers clear area plant(IDEA) team has developed a perimeter hedgecommunity garden for people with 4. Potential funders identifiedspecial needs and disabilities. The 5. Register project withIDEA horticultural project has been Environmental Trust Schemeup and running (with development Regulator (registration allowssupport from the Beechgrove access to Landfill Monies).Garden) since 1997. With raisedbeds and a wheelchair accessible Second stagepolytunnel they have flowers and 1. Employment of developmentherbs under cultivation. They have worker plus training provision.accessed a two-acre field which is This was funded through localjust about to be cultivated. This will small grants for community-ledgrow carrots, cabbages, potatoes and projects scheme.broccoli -all organic- these will be 2. Development worker came intoCommunity Gardens Page 15
  15. 15. School Growing ProjectsSchool gardens and growing areas are The children take responsibility forto be found throughout Scotland. They preparing the vegetable garden,are the most common kind of growing adding manure and seaweed fromproject that the research found. Thereare a number of reasons for this, a key the beach as fertiliser. The localone being the support provided by playgroup has also been involved,organisations like Grounds for Learning, growing vegetables and flowers inthe Eco-Schools project , local their own garden. Some years theorganisations like the Kippen younger class grow things as part ofEnvironment Centre and local their project work. Time spentcountryside rangers services. gardening is limited by the demands of the curriculum but it fits into certain areas like Personal and Social Development, Science and Maths. Lunnasting School The school is an Eco-School and maintaining the garden is an ‘Preparing tatties’ at Lunnasting important part of this programme. Lunnasting School Garden The school grounds at Lunnasting The children have used the produce School in Shetland have been of the garden in cooking lessons in developed since the school the school. The harvest of onions was rebuilt on the site in 1995. Faced were used to tie-dye material and in with a difficult slope the production of a buffet for an Eco- and newly acquired schoolhouse School presentation. Potatoes were garden they sought the help of the used to make different recipes and a BBC Beechgrove Garden ‘Hit Squad’ recipe book was produced as a mini- and six months later had a sloping enterprise with proceeds going to garden planted with trees and charity. So far £500 has been sent to bushes, an area of trees and a a school in Africa to help repair their greenhouse and a garden shed. Since toilet blocks and dining room. Food the first year there has been a small grown is usually added as an extra to growing area in the garden. the school lunch. They have grown different produce each year, and so far have grown onions, potatoes, salads and peas. Inside the greenhouse are miniature apple and cherry trees and a vine National Support which as yet has produced no grapes. Agency for growing They have also grown tomatoes, activities in school Lunnasting School carrots and other vegetables inside as grounds well as various flowers. Fruits of our labourPage 16 Growing Interest
  16. 16. Not all school growing takes place in vegetables in the classroom so that What are Eco-schools?the school grounds; there are they are able to taste what they have Eco-schools is an internationalexamples of schools making use of grown. programme for promotinglocal Allotments and being involved environmental awareness in a way that links to many curriculum subjects,in local community gardens. Children learn about healthy eating including citizenship, personal, social and healthy living through and health education and education forRenfrewshire Schools gardening. Children whose sustainable development. It is basedThe Sustainable Communities experience of vegetables is limited to upon a simple methodology which canProject (see page 12) provides local the freezer cabinet of the local be used by any school. The Eco-schoolssupport for school growing activities supermarket, or tins, experience the process is holistic. It works by involvingwithin Primary Schools and real thing and find that they love the the whole school (pupils, teachers, non-Nurseries in Renfrewshire. taste of fresh vegetables. The area of teaching staff and governors) together with members of the local communityTeaching fruit and vegetable growing the school grounds set aside for (parents, the local authority, the mediahas proved to be very popular with vegetables gardening is part of a large and local businesses). It will encouragechildren, adds to the environmental grass area. The children are currently teamwork and help to create a sharedcurriculum and helps to develop designing a wildlife garden for the understanding of what it takes to run aother environmental actions in the remaining grass area. school in a way that respects andschools eg Eco-schools. enhances the environment.Auchenlodment Primary SchoolThe vegetable garden started fouryears ago with Primary 2 children.Every Wednesday afternoonsustainable communities staff took Sustainable Communities Sustainable Communitieschildren out of the classroom to sowvegetables. After the Easter holidaysthe children planted the garden andharvested in time for the schoolharvest festival. ‘Are we at Australia yet?’ ‘We did grow them!’The school takes part in the Eco-schools project and the children havegained confidence in their own Local Support Structures: an example Local support is very useful in the development of action inpractical abilities. The children have schools. As well as national structures like Grounds foralso developed a wildlife garden. Learning and Eco-schools there are a number of local projects who provide this support. The Kippin Environment Centre inMoorpark Primary School Stirlingshire is an environmental education resource centre forPrimary 5, 6 and 7 children have local school children. It works with a range of community andbeen involved in creating a vegetable educational initiatives, in schools it provides advice andgarden with project staff over the last support to help make school grounds into more stimulating environments for pupils and wildlife. The Centre has had inputsthree years. Vegetables are grown into most of the schools in their area and works closely withorganically and the children have Grounds for Learning. The Centre has many other activities eglearned about composting, recycling, it works with churches to make them and their grounds morecompanion planting and have environmentally friendly, it develops family and communityplanted vegetable seeds and grown events to encourage understanding of environmental issues, itpotatoes and onions. Children are has spun-off a number of projects -food co-op, woodlandable to harvest their own produce. group and a community composting project.They prepare and cook theSchool Growing Projects Page 17
  17. 17. Training and Therapy ProjectsThere are many therapeutic gardens and Coachhouse Trusttraining projects spread across The Coachhouse Trust based in theScotland. These projects had their west end of Glasgow seeks tobeginnings in the patient-managedgardens in the old ‘Asylums’ and some challenge the economic andare still in the same premises; however a social exclusion of adults who aregrowing number of voluntary mental recovering from problems associatedhealth organisations now work in this with mental health, addiction andway. Gardens can be found in a range of learning difficulties. It providessettings from small city centre plots to personal, social and vocationallarge walled gardens. Many of theseprojects grow food as well as flowers development opportunities to peopleand plants. in settings which reintegrate them to the mainstream community. Coachhouse trustA number of activities and settings comeunder the umbrella of ‘horticultural Based in refurbished coach houses intherapy’. These can range from: the use Belmont Lane in the west end ofof growing skills as part of a Glasgow, the Trust provides indoor The Triangle Gardenrehabilitation programme withinhospital occupational therapy and outdoor training workshops in create jobs through the variousdepartments; the creation of specially topics such as horticulture, training and trading activities it isadapted gardens for disabled people; to computing, woodworking, fabrics, developing eg cafe, gallery andtraining or sheltered work schemes for ceramics and landscaping. Its clients performance space. The project’s newpeople with learning disabilities or work in and with the local cafe will be using produce from theirmental health problems. It can takeplace in settings as diverse community so that mutual trust and hospital glass houses, community respect is built and integration isgardens, community allotments and achieved. The Trust has two main sites forsmall nurseries. growing at the moment. Herbs,Elements of training and support can The Trust believes that work is the flowers and vegetables are grown inalso be seen in many of the projects in key to inclusion in our society, and the walled garden. The main gardenthis booklet, eg community gardens andthe school growing projects. organises supported work site has herbs and vegetables placements for its clients as a bridge growing both in a polytunnel and on to full employment. It hopes to raised beds. A wide range of produce is grown which can be bought by local residents or organisations. The Trust has recently started working with a group of unemployed men from the south of the city and are supporting them in developing an allotment in Queen’s Park with plans to grow foodstuffs there also. National Support Coachhouse Trust Agency for growing as training and therapy Barrowing Belmont LanePage 18 Growing Interest
  18. 18. Redhall Walled Garden However with changes in funders ‘For people experiencing mental healthRedhall Walled Garden was built and much stricter regulations over problems, gardening can offer greatin the 18th century as health and safety, eg need for potential for comfort, pleasure and an increased sense of self-esteem. Thethe kitchen garden of a separate areas for weighing and garden can represent a safe place,large estate. It is now run as a washing it became too difficult to separate from life’s anxieties; there canhorticultural training project continue this aspect of the work. be respite in the sense of beingby the Scottish Association for somewhere quiet… It might also becomeMental Health. It is funded and The centre has an ongoing program easier to acknowledge distress in suchsupported by the Edinburgh City of school visits and is often used for surroundings, where external pressuresCouncil Department of Social Work, picnics and barbecues. It also has are reduced.’ (10)and Lothian Health. It offers training links with Edinburgh training Gardening, Mental Health and Community Care:through the medium of horticulture. colleges for visits and placements, eg Val GeorgeRedhall is operated in conjunction art therapy students and others.with Sprout Training Centre, in thegrounds of the Astley AinslieHospital.The garden provides horticulturetraining opportunities, in asupportive environment for peoplewith, and recovering from, mentalhealth problems and stress relateddifficulties. The training is availableto adults aged 18-65. No previousexperience is required and everyattempt is made to accommodatepeople with physical disabilities andspecial needs.The centre has 36 full-time placesand grows a range of flowers, fruitand vegetables, most of which iseaten on site. The project grewvegetables and fruit for sale torestaurants in Edinburgh in the past. Redhall RedhallWorking at Redhall Working at RedhallTraining and Therapy Projects Page 19
  19. 19. AllotmentsAllotments are the traditional urbangrowing space and they have a long Produce grown in Glasgow allotmentshistory. In 1944 300,000 acres ofallotments and gardens produced nearly artichokes, asparagus, courgettes,half of the UK’s fruit and vegetable capsicum, corn, tomatoes,needs. While the number of allotments potatoes, carrots, beetroot,available has reduced markedly since radish, turnips, swedes, parsnips,the 1950s, over the past 10 years celeriac, onions, garlic, leeks,interest in allotments and demand for shallots, broccoli, cauliflower,gardens has been growing. brussels sprouts, cabbage, spring cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, celery, chicory, chard, peas, runner beans, broad beans, rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, currants-red white and black. SAGS Glasgow Allotment Stirling Community Allotment Project Allotments In Stirling an innovative initiative SAGS With about 4000 growing spaces between the Local Exchange Trading Glasgow Allotment across Scotland, allotments are System–LETS Make it Better Project–‘In an age when most of our serious probably the most common form ofproblems are social ones, allotments and Forth Valley NHS Board, has community and personal growing in seen the development of aprovide social cement of a type the country. The Scottish Allotment community allotment project whichpreviously provided by the Church, butconspicuously lacking in today’s society. and Gardens Society (SAGS) has aims to:Thus allotments bring together men and 2000 members -about half the plotwomen from all age groups (20s to 90s) holders in Scotland- and aims to • provide a theraputic environmentethnic and national origins, protect, preserve and promote at various stages for peopleoccupations, social and educational allotment sites. They argue that recovering from severe mentalbackgrounds and income groups, growing plays a part in promotingincluding the retired and the illness healthy lifestyles for all age groups, • provide organic vegetable produceunemployed. that the plots give a space for for the LETS Community CafeThey are daily witness to a thousand relaxation and social interaction and • provide a weekly ‘vegetable basket’acts of kindness - gifts of seeds, plants help reduce stress and alienation. for the participants.and produce, help with watering andheavy work, sharing of equipment, SAGS are aware that increasing This project has a number ofrefreshments and experience - to name numbers of women, young people benefits. It promotes a healthy dietbut a few. The exercise that allotments and ethnic minorities are usingprovide for individuals lightens the for participants, it provides a local allotments to grow their own food. project with locally grown (organic)National Health bill ... most importantly But much wider uses of these produce and demonstrates theallotments promote contentment.’ growing spaces are becoming viability of local vegetable produce common; school plots and visits, groups.Prof K Vickerman, FRS youth training and urban renewal(Glasgow allotment plot holder) projects are developing in allotments around the country.Page 20 Growing Interest
  20. 20. Allotments and community workers (Danny Lowe). With the ‘Allotments are an important resource.growing award of a grant from the UVAF in Although a product of a bygone age,When discussing community 2001, supported the development of they are as relevant to the urban scene as ever. Outdoor exercise, fresh home-growing allotments are often the first its work. It developed as an organic grown produce and the enjoyment ofexample that people identify. growing project working with nature are just a few of the benefits ofAllotments, however, are viewed as unemployed and homeless people, having an allotment. They are also vitalbeing only focused on the needs of developing gardening skills through Green Spaces which, with carefulone person or family. This is not the regeneration and development of stewardship, will be a valuable legacy.’strictly true as there are a number the Hamiltonhill Allotments inof examples of educational and Glasgow. The project also developed Social Inclusion Almost all parts of society are found asregeneration activities taking place good links with local schools and plotholders on a typical Edinburghin allotments around the country. school leavers and the local Allotment site. This can be seen from the children’s inclusion partnership. It backgrounds of 18 neighbouringA good example of this was the work was able to access support from the plotholders at the Midmar site.of the Groundwork project which City Council to install toilets and atook place in Hamiltonhill bothy. The bothy hosted regular 1. retired polish miner (78)allotments in Glasgow (the project events eg training demonstrations 2. working family (35)is now in the process of relocating to by the chefs from Glasgow’s 3. technical college lecturer (50) 4. Friends of the Earth staff memberanother site) Grassroots Cafe on vegetarian (30) cooking with allotment produce. 5. young Asian mother (30)This project developed over four 6. retired scientist (80)years, with support from CSV The use of allotments for training 7. practising lawyer (50)Environment before it disbanded, and support can be seen also in 8. retired G.P. (65)and then with extensive focused Stirling where the LETS project has 9. spinster (75)voluntary input from one of CSV’s been using their allotment for this. 10. retired teacher (75) 11. whole family 12. consultant (50) 13. manageress (35) 14. retired nurse (65) 15. school master (70) 16. research scientist (50) 17. mental health group (various ages) 18. long-term unemployed (45) Each plot-holder has a David Black common interest and are brought together by this andGroundwork at Hamiltonhill the frequently changing successes and failures to According to Judy Wilkinson,SAGS secretary more women, families, young people share with neighbouring and minority groups are allotment gardening than ever before… plot-holders. In Edinburgh the ground rent for a plot ranges from £6 to £30 per year; in (Amended from the FEDAGA Glasgow allotments are a uniform £26.50 a year or 50p per week. The amount of website see page 32) produce achievable can be fantastic - Wilkinson talks of 200 onions, 250 leeks, 40 marrows, 60 cucumbers, 60 sweetcorn cobs, plus 25lbs of blackcurrants, 40lbs of raspberries, and 20lbs of gooseberries from one plot, plus herbs, beans, and potatoes. Thats enough to feed a family and have plenty to give away or swap with other gardeners. The Scotsman, 12th January 2002Allotments Page 21
  21. 21. Growing for ResaleThree examples of projects involved in Earthshare The organisation has grown fromgrowing for resale are given. These are Earthshare is a not-for-profit strength to strength since itsthe CSA approach of Earthshare in Nairn Community Supported Agricultural inauguration and is now close towhere 200 subscribers share the risks and (CSA) scheme based in the north- achieving financial stability throughbenefits of funding organic food growing.The Skye and Lochalsh approach is one of east of Scotland in which the economies of scale. Half of theproviding a supportive infrastructure to subscribers share the risks and subscribers are individuals and halfenable a range of small growers develop a benefits involved in growing their groups. Expansion has been achievedmarket for locally grown foods. In food using organic methods. largely through word of mouth withStornoway the Cearns Community Subscribers sign-up for a full year, minimal advertising. The value of theDevelopment project is providing training, and have the option of contributing produce is exceptional whenand through this growing food for sale in part of their share through work eg compared to imported produce ofthe local shop. Projects like the LETS cafe weeding, tattie picking etc similar Stirling (p18) also grow for resalealthough in their case the raw materialsare not sold rather the finished cooked Earthshare grows about 47 different In addition to growing produce ondish is sold in the cafe. A number of other varieties of fruit and vegetables and the land it farms, Earthshare obtainsprojects are developing this approach eg distributes these to its 200 local produce from two other organicthe Skypoint centre cafe in Faifley plans a subscribers 51 weeks of the year. contractors. These providegrowing project to provide foodstuffs for Social events are organised vegetables for early and late seasonthe cafe. throughout the year and the project salads and covered summer crops has a quarterly newsletter, ‘The like tomatoes as well as organic fruit. Onion String’. Having outside contractors for those products has allowed Earthshare to Crops are harvested each week and concentrate on the staple crops like boxes packed each Friday. These are brassicas, potatoes and carrots suited then taken to three pick-up points. to its more extensive field and Subscribers collect their own boxes tractor-based systems. and are encouraged to share in a rota Earthshre scheme to collect for their nearest There has been growing interest fromEarthshare subscribers at work neighbours. community groups and individuals throughout rural Scotland and many have visited the project. Earthshare believes that CSA has great potential for community building, and that this helps to achieve the level of subscriber support necessary to ensure a truly sustainable operation. Earthshare is hoping to broaden the ownership of the organisation in a way which will benefit the local community and promote the development of similar CSA schemes elsewhere. Earthshre‘Tattiefest’ at EarthsharePage 22 Growing Interest
  22. 22. Skye and Lochalsh It has been established that a wide Fas Feallain ‘Grow Healthy’ projectHorticultural Development variety of crops can be grown Fas Feallain is an innovative rural projectAssociation successfully throughout the area, in the Western Isles that attempts to joinSkye and Lochalsh Horticultural both protected (polytunnel) and grow your own / horticultural activities with healthier eating initiatives at aDevelopment Association (SLHDA) unprotected and the produce from local level. The New Opportunities Fundwas established in February 1994 these sites has been marketed and Healthy-Living-Centre programme haswith the objective of developing all sold locally to both the hotel and given it a grant for three years fromaspects of the horticulture trade that catering trade and subsequently to 2002.could be of local economic or the general public through a marketenvironmental benefit in Skye and stall. The Fas Feallain project will helpLochalsh. It aims to displace address some of the health inequalitiesunnecessary imported skills and Cearns Community experienced by the Western Isles, including higher costs of living than theproducts by developing local skills Development Project Scottish average (for example, the costand resources to supply the market ‘Grow Our Own’ of food can be up to 24% higher). Withrequirements and thus create more This is an initiative fostered by the training and advice, individuals will beemployment locally. local community health project helped to grow their own food for home through ‘New Deal’ which involves consumption, with surpluses to be soldSkye and Lochalsh is traditionally a unemployed Stornoway residents in through rural shops and local producecrofting area, however, in recent the growing of fresh fruit and markets. The project will deliver trainingyears there has been a shift from the vegetables in two polytunnels. The in horticulture, cookery and businesstraditional crofting methods to the produce will be sold through the development, as well as providing healthy eating advice and guidancepermanent grazing of land and the community shop and a market stall. for families on low incomes. A full-timeskills involved in growing have been community dietician/projectlost because of this. With the This project has attracted a wide manager and two part-timedownturn in income from livestock range of support with funding from co-ordinators will beproduction, the Association has Western Isles Enterprise, SCDP, local employed, with servicesrecognised the potential for ward initiative monies and the delivered from existingalternative land use in the area. Health Board’s Health Improvement local centres.Sustainable developments such as Fund. The project is acting as a pilothorticulture, with opportunities project for the ‘Fas Feallain’ initiativeexisting for a number of full-time (see sidebar).and part-time horticulture-relatedbusiness developments, are suitableto this area. It was felt that croftingwas particularly well suited to thesmall scale production of fruit andvegetables for supply to the localmarket, and its seasonality fits invery well with other aspects ofcrofting, ie sheep, cattle, fishing andtourism.Over the past five years, the SLHDA,has established a number of trialsites throughout the area to producecrops (soft fruit and vegetables) andhas supported and developed these Earthshresites to produce for the local market. Subscribers helping with the tatties at EarthshareGrowing for resale Page 23
  23. 23. Creating a Community Growing ProjectGetting organised up its own project they must Get help from your regionalIf you aren’t already organised as a establish a set of rules, usually FCF&CG development worker, orgroup, you will need to get one known as a constitution. other support agencies.started. You will be looking forindividuals who have the same aims A constitution is a legal document. It Finding a siteand who have a commitment to should: Most growing projects start whereshared responsibility. Once you have there is an identified piece of land,a group of people together, carry out • set out the aims of the group which is derelict or under-used. Buta skills audit - find out what different • show how the group is structured some groups have to look for a site.people have to offer. There may be • show how decisions are made bybuilders, artists, and youth workers, the group Most community gardens do notas well as gardeners, who can offer • show who is responsible for what. own the land they use. Some land isvaluable skills to the project. on licence but most land is leased.Encourage people to join in and The group may also want to register The majority of community gardensshare their ideas and listen to their as a charity with the Inland pay a peppercorn rent.comments, creating an environment Revenue(a). If you plan to apply forof openness. grants or receive donations, or if you Possible sources of land are derelict propose to hold land in trust, you allotments, land owned by a charitySetting up a community growing should get registered as a charity. for public benefit, old churchyards,project involves leasing or owning This can take time, and you should waste ground, land within parks andland. It may also lead to raising get advice. You can get a model recreation grounds, common land onfunds, recruiting volunteers, and constitution from the Federation of housing estates, urban fringeeven employing paid staff. Therefore, City Farms and Community Gardens agricultural land and school oronce a group of people decides to set (FCF&CG) hospital grounds. Start by getting in touch with your local authority who will know what land is available. what long-term plans they might have for an identified site, or whether your group can use part of an existing public facility. Good contacts will be your Local Agenda 21 officer and your local councillor. The local authority should be able to help with advice, support and, hopefully, funding. You may need to negotiate for a site with the owner, whether this is the Coachhouse Trust local council, a charity, or private landowner. You will probably want: Coachhouse Trust Log Cabin and Market GardenPage 24 Growing Interest
  24. 24. • a licence to allow short-term be responsible for managing the (up to one year) improvements, money. If you need specialist help, which can then be renewed. find out about local community• a long-term agreement giving the accountancy projects. group security of tenure• a lease with a low rent You will need to set up a system of• as few restrictions as possible basic book keeping, whether you are• planning permission. spending £50 or £50,000 each year, and you will need to prepare aIn return you should be clear what budget. A budget will ensure thatyou are offering the owner. By you have the relevant financialputting the land back into use for information at the right time, andcommunity benefit, the owner will can make the difference between a Coachhouse Trustreceive good publicity. If the local project failing or thriving.council is the owner, you can helpthem meet service targets, eg Raising moneyeducation, facilities for children’s How to get hold of money is an issue Coachhouse raised herb bedsplay, leisure and recreation, that dominates many communitycomposting, environmental projects, but it is important toimprovements. remember that good volunteers and donations in kind may meet many ofPromoting a project your needs.It is important to promote yourproject to gain local support, attract You may be able to reduce your needfunding, and get more people for money by doing some carefulinvolved. It is useful to identify research, eg into discounts,someone to be responsible for co- donations, rate relief, buyingordinating publicity. consortiums, recycling, Local Exchange Trading Schemes. YouUse existing channels of should also get as much help fromcommunication, such as other your local community as possiblegroups’ newsletters and publications, through help and donations in kind,noticeboards, and local authority eg displaying a ‘wants list’ boardwebsites. Try also to reach a wider asking for plant cuttings, trees, toolsaudience through the local media. etc.Send out press releases and photos tolocal papers and radio to publicise Ideas for income generation includeevents, celebrate achievements, or selling plants and window boxes,generate more community charging an entrance fee toinvolvement. It can also be useful to community events, and runninglink in with other groups’ national training sessions, eg on building aand local campaigns (see page 32 for composting unit or making a herbcontacts) hanging basket.Managing money Funding may be available fromYou will need to find out what charitable trusts, through servicefinancial skills you already have in agreements with the local authorityyour group and identify someone to or Scottish Executive, from theCreating a Community Growing Project Page 25