Our allotment and food growing projects are hands on and therapeutic ways to get back to nature. It’s more than just food growing though; we are trying to create a community space at the City Farm for people to come and be involved with. Participants come with all levels of skills and abilities and get involved in different ways. We have experienced people who can guide and show others what to do, building on individual interests. Some people may just want to know how to grow tomatoes for example, while someone else might be very passionate about composting. Others just want to share their own knowledge even though they may no longer have the physical capacity to do the work due to age or disability.
We create friendly and open environments where the participants can come together to work as a team but still develop their interests. So for example alongside the fruit and veg we have had woodworking to build benches, decorative arts and craft, landscaping and they have even built a pizza oven for lunches. It’s important that the group knows that the space belongs to everyone and that they all have a say in how the spaces takes shape.
A big part of this work (as with most Fair Shares work) is the social side. It’s a great way for a diverse group of people to come together and have a great time. Some afternoons they might decide it’s far too hot to do any digging so instead they just have a BBQ! People in the group support and encourage each other and recognise that we all have good days and bad.