Since March Social Farms & Gardens in NI (funded by the People and Communities programme of the National Lottery Community Fund) has worked to enable the growing groups in NI to safely encourage ‘growing in their communities’ as an alternative to ‘community growing’.
We ordered a wholesale delivery of organic vegetable seeds and distributed these to over 30 community growing groups to date to distribute in their communities We developed the programme resources – Covid 19 Risk Assessment for distribution of plants, advert for the groups to use on their Facebook to attract people in the community, and produced Lock Down Videos on our Facebook explaining to first time growers how to grow the seeds.
The feed back is so good – our efforts have been ‘fruitful’! Growing does give people hope in isolation and depression. In a time when it has been shown that NI has weak food security growing food becomes a necessity for food supply and an activity that people have time to do.
We will be extending the programme and documenting it, and would be pleased to hear from community growers in Northern Ireland.