Community Growing Project

Hi All

The Community Growing Project is an exciting, sleeves rolled up, hands dirty project that embodies the spirit of TTB and the transition movement. A group has formed under the TTB banner to start growing food for and with the community, at the Sunnyside site at Northchurch. The idea is that anyone in the community can get involved in cultivating the plot and in partaking of the fruits of their collective labour.

The plot is conveniently situated under a polytunnel to shelter both crops and growers from the worst of the elements. The scheme compares favourably compared with owning an allotment in that the labour is shared, problems and victories are shared and there is a feeling of being part of something bigger.

So if you would like to get involved, whatever your background, skills or experience, read on and get in touch with Trevor and Bettina.






Here’s a quick update from the Community Growing project – 20 August

Since we began in earnest last week almost half of the polytunnel has been dug and prepared for cultivation.

The soil’s extremely hard in places but then again surprisingly manageable in other areas, so with the help of pickaxe, mattock and spade, it took about 8 hours of solid, but satisfying labour to get to this stage.

What we need now are more people to join for some more digging and to start cultivating the site together! It’s not too late to sow overwintering crops and it would be great to start using the growing space straight away.

If you feel you have some time to spare for this, please come on board! We have drawn up an agreement with Sunnyside whereby we (Community Growing people) agree to sign up as volunteers with Sunnyside. This is to both be protected by their insurance as well as making sure Sunnyside is paid ‘in kind’ for the use of their growing space. I’ve spent a couple of half-days volunteering already and it’s great fun and very interesting – the people there are lovely and there are plenty of horticultural skills and tricks to be picked up. The volunteering-schedule is very flexible and coming on board doesn’t necessarily mean committing to a regular amount of volunteering-time per week. (There is also the proviso that the agreement with Sunnyside might evolve in the future; further along the line we might ‘pay’ them in produce rather than volunteering-time – all subject to quarterly evaluation meetings.)

Please let me know if you’d like to come on board – subject to Emma’s permission, we could also arrange for people to come to Sunnyside Northchurch to have a look at what’s been happening so far.

History – Community Growing Update – 12 June

After a couple of meetings with Emma, we are now very close to getting started! For now, the idea is that Trevor and I will sign up as volunteers with Sunnyside and will be able to start working the polytunnel in exchange for volunteering. This agreement will be subject to a quarterly/half-yearly review, and depending on how the project develops, at a later date we might strike a deal with Sunnyside whereby we’re allowed to use the space in exchange for produce. Of course, we’re still looking for other people to join in – at the moment, there’s Marion and possibly Hannah from TTB and a handful of Berkhamsted residents who have responded to the mail out. As other interested parties come forward and join, we will have to work out everything in more detail, i.e. does everyone volunteer, deciding on what we plant/how we organise the space, deciding on rotas/time investment etc etc.

As the ground needs a thorough digging-over, we are thinking of organising a ‘Digging Saturday’ very soon – everyone welcome!

Possibly a bit further down the line, exciting ideas are waiting to be realized – community chickens, and even community pigs! (Both of these would actually be enormously helpful in helping to break up the outside growing space!)

Best Wishes
Bettina and Trevor

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