‘Grow Community – Sopwell’ is a group of volunteers in Sopwell ward, St Albans who want to encourage and enable local residents to grow their own food at home and in community spaces, to reduce food waste and to share surplus food in the community and with local charity groups. See the delicious Pumpkin soup recipe at the end!
They also aim to promote local wildlife conservation and restoration projects, connect ongoing initiatives and bring the community together through these activities.
In this week’s blog we talk to Kate Swindells, a Sopwell resident who has started this new local growing project – Grow Community – Sopwell – which is supported by Sustainable St Albans and the growing project FoodSmiles.
Why have you started Grow Community Sopwell?
Having set up an eco Facebook group for mums in St Albans (SAMs eco team) I can see so many people wanting to do better with plastic-free and low carbon emissions living.
“Growing your own fruit and veg is a great step to being ‘greener’ and is pretty easy once you’ve got started.”
Knowing our local community pretty well and being into gardening myself, it made sense to start off a community growing group in the area where I live. Luckily for us a similar group Foodsmiles have already set up the Incredible Edible community gardens in the city centre, and we are gaining advice and support from them about how to set it up!
Are there any local groups who want to get involved?
We’ve got the support of our local councillors, churches, and some of the local youth groups already. The local primary schools are also very happy to be supported in what they are already doing and we have strong links with the local allotment society. In the wider St Albans community, we have support from Sustainable St Albans and Foodsmiles which we’re really pleased about.
Do you grow food in your garden at home?
I love to grow food at home, it’s my escape! This year we’ve grown potatoes, loads of leafy vegetables, beans, peas, tomatoes, leeks and pumpkins, and we’ve just bought a miniature apple tree. A lot of the veg is grown in our old recycling boxes! They’re a good size, deep, and have drainage holes already.
Find out more about Grow Community – Sopwell
There will be refreshments, kid’s activities and a pumpkin soup demo as part of Hubbub’s #PumpkinRescue food waste campaign.