A new toolkit has been launched by Greenspace Scotland to help people across Scotland find new, exciting and unusual places to grow fruit and veg in their villages, towns and cities.
Julie Procter, Chief Executive of greenspace scotland said:
"More and more people in Scotland want to grow their own fruit and vegetables but lack of land is a big barrier. We've produced the Our Growing Community toolkit to help Scottish communities explore new places and more ways to grow their own food. It's not just about having your own garden or an allotment, there are many places where food could be grown in our villages, towns and cities – we need to think more creatively about where these are and how they could be used for growing food. This pack is all about helping people to 'get growing' anywhere and everywhere...on the edge of school playing field, in the flowerbeds outside the office, on that bit of derelict ground. The only question is 'where will you grow?' "
The Our Growing Community pack includes a big poster which helps you find places in your area which could be used for community growing and grow-your-own. It highlights over 20 places from railway stations and high streets to school grounds and parks. The pack then helps you find out what types of community growing would work best in each place – from familiar allotments and community gardens to edible borders in park flower beds and street orchards to more unusual forms of growing like roof gardens and green walls. Individual guidance notes point you in the right direction to get started.
The Our Growing Community pack was launched by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change. Speaking at Gardening Scotland, the Minister said:
"Across Scotland people are increasingly interested in where their food comes from given concerns about food authenticity and the issue of food miles. More and more of us are getting involved in growing our own fruit and vegetables. The Scottish Government is committed to making it easier for that to happen and we have funded a number of community food growing projects through the Climate Challenge Fund. We have recently consulted on potential legal changes to the allotments legislation and today's launch of the Our Growing Community toolkit will further help boost community growing. It will also benefit the wider environment by providing excellent habitats for Scotland's wildlife and making our communities greener, healthier places to live and work."
The production of the Our Growing Community pack was led by greenspace scotland with funding support from Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.
Pam Whittle, President of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (the Caley) said:
"The Caley is delighted to be working with greenspace scotland on this exciting project. We hope the resource pack will stimulate people's imagination about where they can get involved in growing. We are really looking forward to helping more people across Scotland get involved with gardening and horticulture. Gardening is great fun and it's good for you it keeps us active and is a great stress buster. But perhaps best of all - nothing beats the taste of peas fresh from the pod that you've grown yourself!"