The ‘Growing Glastonbury’ Project will promote food growing in and around Glastonbury, bringing together experienced gardeners to support people new to growing, or those who would like to grow more vegetables and fruit, to share skills, to eat well, save money, be active, make new friends, connect with nature and contribute to local food security. Local growers will produce food in community growing spaces as well as individual gardens.
Become a Growing Mentor
Growing Mentors are volunteers with experience and passion who want to share their food growing skills and knowledge. As well as supporting individuals and families in their own gardens, Growing Mentors will be encouraged to attend community events, talks, schools, groups and to write articles, take photographs or make use of any other skills that help spread the buzz about food growing and bringing people together.
Mentors will provide tips, inspiration and advice as needed over a 12-month growing season. We are looking for people with at least two years food growing experience and willing to promote environment-friendly, organic methods, with minimal use of man-made chemicals.
Mentors will be supported by a Project Co-ordinator and will benefit from regular training in food growing and will learn coaching techniques and gain confidence in working with new food growers. Previous mentors, under the Garden Organic Master Gardener’s scheme in Somerset, have gone onto further training and community food growing work.
Applying to be a Growing Mentor
We are currently recruiting new mentors. There is a short and simple application form, available online (link to application form here), or for details please get in touch with Carol Stone, email@example.com, mobile 07552975778. The next induction training weekend is Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th January 2015 at the Red Brick Building.
If you would like help from a Growing Mentor
To help get you started with food growing, your mentor will share their knowledge and experience, so that you can make the most of your growing space throughout the year. You can also come along to a weekly Gardening Club in Glastonbury and participate in regular skills-sharing events and workshops organized by Feed Avalon.
FREE Gardening Clubs
Growing Glastonbury will be offering weekly 2-hour growing sessions, one for women growers and the other will be in the Windmill Hill area. Sessions will be free and informal, with the aim that participants attend regularly to build up their skills, knowledge and confidence growing food. No previous experience is needed, just a willingness to get hand’s on with support and guidance from a member of the Feed Avalon team. Let us know if you are interested in joining (link to expression of interest form here).
See some photos from our fantastic day at Glastonbury Harvest Show this September:
• How to make jams & jellies
• Super simple soup making
• Low impact food storage including clamping, cellars & cool storage
• How to make chutney
• How to store beans of all varieties
• How to dehydrate produce
• Bottling & canning
• How to freeze & chill produce safely • How to make juices
• Techniques of fermentation
Workshops can be taken individually or as part of a longer course.
Workshop spaces will be on a first-come-first served basis. Individuals doing the longer course will be prioritised.
All workshops will take place at kitchens in Glastonbury & Street and be led by experienced tutors. Total beginners welcome!
Workshops are free for individuals on benefits or a low income. Suggested donation of £10 per workshop for those paying, or £65 for the whole course.
Dates, times & locations available on request. Interested? Register by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
This course has been funded by Somerset Skills and Learning.
Together we will share our experiences, learn new skills & create new knowledge in re-building our food system in Somerset & beyond.
Workshop One: Localising Food Systems
10 – 3, Street, Saturday 1st March 2014
Fruit Tree Planting, Care & Pruning • What is local food? What is Food Sovereignty? What does this mean and look like? • Introduction to community organising, communicating in groups & organising effective events
Workshop 2: Making Decisions Locally
10 – 3, Frome, Saturday 29th March 2014
Seed sowing & propagating plants • Making decisions in groups • Seed sovereignty & corporate control of seeds • Access to land
Workshop 3: Food for People
10 – 3, Bridgwater, Saturday 5th April 2014
Soil care • Food Poverty in Somerset & Injustices in our food system • Effective outreach & organising • Social diversity in our communities • How to start a Food Cooperative • Grassroots fundraising
Workshop 4: Valuing Food Providers
10 – 3, Glastonbury, Saturday 19th April 2014
Growing salads & vegetables • Scaling up food production & market gardening • Introduction to Community Supported Agriculture • Livelihoods for Growers • Starting a community garden
Workshop 5: Building Knowledge & Skills
10 – 3, Yeovil, Saturday 3rd May 2014
Growing soft fruit • Popular education • Organising skill sharing events • Sustaining healthy groups • Mentoring others
10 – 3, Minehead, Saturday 17th May 2014
Advanced soil care & fertility building • Introduction to ecological design • Introduction to alternative systems such as permaculture and agroecology
Somerset Community Food is also able to offer a maximum of 12 learners the opportunity to gain a qualification in Community Horticulture. This is
financially supported & contributions towards travel costs are also available.
The course is an APT (previously OCN) Level 2 Progression Award in Community Horticulture, which could become part of a longer certificate or diploma course.
The qualification will require additional work in compliment to these workshops. Participants will be encouraged to lead sessions as part of the grassroots workshops, developing their skills in popular education. There is also a strong action-learning element where learners reflect on their practice in a community food project over 5 months, starting in January.
To register your interest email: email@example.com
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th September 2013 saw the second Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens weekend. More than 22 workshops took place involving over 190 people across every district of Somerset, while over 21 sites were open to the public to inspire others to get growing.
In Minehead, Transition Minehead & Alcombe helped organise an entire day on getting the best from your plot, with workshops on extending the growing seasons, seasonal sowing & winter protection, as well as a shared lunch and cooking session in the afternoon looking at what to do with your glorious glut. More than 15 people made it along.
Organiser of Burnham on Sea Food & Drink Festivals Sarah Milner-Simmonds lead a free garden design workshop on how to use edible ornamentals to make your garden more productive, with many keen participants.
In Frome, Aliss led a willow weaving demonstration and the Mount Community Garden led a storing and preserving vegetables workshop. Unfortunately due to the howling weather not many people made it and the organisers have decided next year to run a how to pickle your mother-in-law workshop that may be more popular.
Amanda Clay from Bishop’s Palace Communty Garden led an introduction to vegetable growing skill share at South Petherton Allotments and Axbridge Community Allotment had a successful open day and bug hunt happening for kids.
On Sunday a small group made it to Street to see Mark and Sarah’s amazing home garden, with its creative recycling and growing practices that make the most of the space.
Master Gardener Michele Darnell Roberts led a Super Simple Soups workshop at Crispin Community Centre in Street with more than 17 people taking part.
Also open to the public were Dragon Willows Farm near Godney, a traditional Somerset levels smallholding. A council house garden on Windmill Hill in Glastonbury was also open to the public to help inspire other householders with how to make the most of their space to grow food for their families. Jane Walker from Crew HQ led a food resilience workshop and showed people around her garden in Coxley.
Louise Brookes also led a perpetual edible garden workshop, with nine people taking part, showing how a community garden can be created on neglected wasteland.
Meanwhile in South Somerset, two permaculture workshops took place led by Peter Clark. Over 15 attended a workshop in South Petherton, as well as six at Somerton Allotments. They were all inspired by this design system and how they can re-design their spaces to save time, energy and money and enhance biodiversity.
Nicole Vosper also led a workshop on Medicinal Landscaping in Compton Dundon, showing visitors around her 30m2 herb garden and introducing them to diverse medicinal habitats on the four acre smallholding where she lives. To see some resources from the workshop, click here.
Axbridge Community Allotment also gave their own introduction to forest gardening workshop with a tour of their forest garden on their second shared allotment site.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend, which would have not been possible without the grassroots support of people leading workshops for free, advertising events and getting their hands dirty on the day. The weekend is a great chance to get people involved in your community project and inspired by food growing.
If you would like to take part in the Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens 2014 please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants at the Perpetual Edible Gardens Workshop
Bridies Yard Forever Food Forest
Super Simple Soups Workshop
Pictures from Mark & Sarah’s edible back garden
Some produce from Axbridge Community Allotment:
Pictures from West Somerset:
Medicinal Landscaping workshop: