Growing your own veggies is great. But the process can be intimidating and time consuming. That's why it's so important to help newbies learn new skills and meet like-minded, experienced gardeners. Whether it'sinstant veggie gardens by mail or Australian Permablitz's collaborative urban permaculture gardens, a little community can go a long way. In Bristol, England, (my old home town) an award-winning scheme is helping neighbors come together to create beautiful backyard spaces, to share skills, labor and homegrown produce, and to make new friends in the process. Click below the fold to see an expiring example of how much can be achieved in a matter of hours when neighbors pool their resources.
GROFUN (not the greatest acronym in the world...) stands for Growing Real organic food in Urban Neighbourhoods and is pioneering a number of different schemes to help inner-city communities access land and fresh produce. From community allotments to school gardens to the group's collaborative "Many Hands" project, the idea is to simultaneously build community and increase resilience:
Our Many Hands project is our community exchange scheme, coordinating neighbours to grow food cooperatively in their own gardens. For those without gardens to grow in our Community Allotment in St Werburghs is open to all. Skills, time, tools & knowledge are shared here, new friends are made, the appearance of the local community is improved and the harvest is shared. GROFUN also aims to engage with more people through Community Gardens in publicly accessible locations.
The scheme has even attracted the attention of the BBC's Gardener's World program. The video gives just a small taste of the incredible work being done in gardens across Bristol.