The Gilwern Grows projects started in early 2021, the idea for the project had seeded itself during the lockdowns of 2020, and the year before where our Community Cafe had started sharing gluts of produce from the community. The idea became energised in late 2020 and early 2021 as the committee were unable to run their normal festival under the circumstances.
The committee looked for land in the local area, but this provided difficult, so they pressed forwards with engaging with local community groups, the local children’s nursery and the County Council and happily found three plots for the 2021 season to start community growing projects, which were added to the existing plot supported by a Keep Wales Tidy grant secured in 2019.
The project’s aims were initially quite wide, but within the first year the group managed to prep and grow on all three sites, producing vegetables and planting flowers. They also managed to improve the largest site with water butts to allow the plot to be sustainable.
The produce grown was sent to the Community Café, which successfully reopened in late 2021. A massive thank you to all the volunteers and a huge thank you to the donations from Earth 2 Soil and residents.
2022 sees the group committed to developing the largest plot and they will be looking for grants to help them in this endeavour.
If you would like to join us the group’s aims for the project are:
The project’s short-term benefits are anticipated to be both well-being and physical, allowing participants to join in an open and inclusive environment. The position of the plots is in the centre of the village, allowing community members to access a growing space locally. Encouraging local underdeveloped plots allows for a more sustainable and biodiverse environment within Gilwern, cuts down on car journeys and gives access to non-drivers and community members with accessibility issues.
Long term we hope that these projects will encourage the community to grow on their own land and gain access to plots that are not being used. It is hoped that by involving younger children they will learn about fresh food and how to grow and enjoy the growing space alongside the older members of the community. This project is also complemented by our community cafe, which is developing food sharing via a pantry and encouraging ‘glut’ sharing.
Come and be part of weekly outdoor meet ups and seeing seeds turn into food for all! Contact at email@example.com or use the sign up form below.