Community gardening

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As I've mentioned in my previous posts for Garlic and Sapphire, our outdoor space really isn't that spacious. We'd love to live the dream: self-sufficiency, zero food miles, a duck pond and all the rest of it. And maybe one day we'll get there. But the here and now is quite different.

Having recently moved back into the area we thought it would be a good thing to get involved with a community project (ideally with a gardening slant); to meet new people and commit a little more to how we want to live. So we contacted our local Incredible Edible team and asked about extending the scheme to include our village.

If you're a fan of River Cottage, you may (a few series back) have seen Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall visiting Todmorden in West Yorkshire. It's where the whole Incredible Edible idea began and it has since taken off in various parts of the country.

The basic premise is pretty simple: to increase the amount of food grown locally. People get together and plant herbs, fruit and vegetables in areas accessible to the public so they can help themselves. An outdoor larder of sorts. It can involve anything from swathes of land to little pockets outside buildings, from community allotments to grass verges.

So we attended a meeting one sunny evening up in the hills. Sitting around a table in a farmyard discussing plans and ideas was good fun and it made us feel like we were getting involved in something worthwhile.

Because as well as securing land, digging and weeding, clearing ground and planting, initiatives such as these offer so much. They foster a sense of community. They help educate children. And they help us all get back in touch with nature through eating seasonally and celebrating throughout the year (next event in the diary: Harvest festival).

It's a great example of what we already know: being part of a community and spending time outdoors are great for your sense of wellbeing. And the benefits of eating fresh, locally-grown produce go without saying.

Thanks for reading,