One of Joining Hands’ schemes is a community growing project based in Ditton. The project was developed by a young apprentice of ours, Louise Rowe-Leete, in 2011 when she was successful in securing a plot of land on the East Malling Trust patch.
For the first year or so, Louise and I spent many hours planting and growing vegetables on a small part of the land because we were fighting against weed and the sheer size of the land between the two of us and a number of wonderful volunteers – namely the fabulous Julia who also involved her whole family, young people, businesses and even a group of scouts. Much of what we grew was shared, donated and sold through connections and networks. And everyone who tasted any of the vegetables we grew was amazed at the quality and taste. Well, Louise had to leave us to go to university shortly after and, for the lack of time and enough help, I had to admit defeat and pass the work over to our new Co-ordinator, Laurence Snook.
Laurence has been working hard to secure funding and partnerships, grow the land and do a tremendous amount of work. He’s ready to expand and grow some more but this can’t be done without more volunteers and locals interested in a community supported agricultural scheme. So here I am using my blog to spread the good word. Community Supported Agriculture is the way forward if we value fresh, and locally grown food. So I am here to ask anyone living in the vicinity of the land to go and help out, even if for a few hours a month, so that Laurence can continue the great work he is doing and you can get some fresh food delivered to your doorstep. Let me also mention how working on the project helped me with my personal health and development. It was very therapeutic and I do miss getting my hands dirty and growing my favourite vegetables.
To find out more about how you can get involved, email Laurence@communigrow.co.uk and have a quick look at www.communigrow.co.uk to see how it all started and how it can develop, with your help of course.
Let’s spread the word and make locally produced food our priority.