Incredible Edible Clara sprouted from our Covid-19 mutual aid group which provided valuable community support and solidarity throughout the pandemic. Our idea is simple: we are taking back the unused spaces around our village to grow and share food. We have started small and guerilla with activities such as; foraging walks; allotment sales (all proceeds going to the local food bank); and seed and recipe shares but we want to take the project to the next level: To plant perennial fruit trees and bushes in harmony with the local ecology; to create a mobile community seed library; to start a community compost; to create accessible raised beds for the younger and older members of our community; to develop food abundance to address critical food inequality in the area'; and finally to bring the whole community together to celebrate our village (around some delicious homegrown food!) as we sew seeds now and for the future.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
By taking collective, creative stewardship of the land around us we will share and invest in community agency, culture and kindness. The community compost will reduce our food waste whilst improving soil health. Seed saving and sharing through the seed library will reduce our communities impact upon the environment (requiring less imported seed); facilitate learning around food production, sovereignty and distribution; and help rebuild ecological diversity and resilience. Our collective learning, planting, growing, maintaining and harvesting will help tackle issues of social isolation, loneliness, mental health and food inequality whilst the plants and trees we grow will also make our village all the more beautiful, sustainable and regenerative. We anticipate there will be other opportunities - such as arts, crafts, nature studies and chicken cooperatives - which will arise as the project develops and our spaces become more established.
Steps to get it done:
We are specifically seeking funding for; perennial trees & shrubs (including six raised beds); to invite guest speakers to lead a curriculum for locals on food production, foraging and sustainability; setting up and publicity for the community compost and seed library; to cover meeting (hall hire) costs, leaflets and documentation for the newsletter.
About the space
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council