Growing together, closer to home

As promised, my fourth post in this series on sharing stuff and working together is about some great community growing projects in and around Exeter. All of these groups would love to hear from you if you want to get involved.

I mentioned the Harvest Project and its Garden Match scheme in my last post. The Harvest people also encourage new growers or those with limited space to start Incredible Edible MiniGardens, with support from volunteer Growing Champions. They help people get together to turn unused land in Exeter into community growing space, and to share the fruit harvest across the city. [2014 update – the Harvest Project has now closed.]

Then there is community agriculture…

Exeter Community Agriculture is a co-operative farming 4 acres of organic land in Shillingford near Exeter. The members aim to reconnect local people with the land, by involving them in the production of their own locally grown food. They also strive to create learning opportunities relating to sustainable land use and especially food production. Now known as Exeter Growers Co-operative.

Broadclyst Community Farm is a working farm leased from the National Trust and run by volunteers. They want the farm to be a form of sustenance for our community; providing affordable food and hands-on educational opportunities. They wish to revive interest in agriculture, particularly among young people, and want to understand and value the environment, our farming heritage and one another.

The Exeter Community Garden is a long-term initiative established by members of the Students’ Guild, the University of Exeter and members of the community. Its aim is to further the causes of sustainability and biodiversity in Exeter.

And finally, if you’re thinking of setting up a local food project, there’s HogCO (Home Grown – Community Owned), which works with rural communities across Devon to help groups join together, to develop skills and seek opportunities to grow their own food. Note that because it’s run by the Community Council of Devon, it cannot support projects in Exeter, Plymouth or Torbay.