Hundreds of the UK’s community food-growing gardens will be throwing open their gates to the public on 21st September 2013, in the largest open event of food-growing spaces in the UK. The open day builds on the huge success of last year’s event which involved over 100 gardens and attracted more than 3,000 people.
The event is being supported by celebrity gardener Alys Fowler. She said “The Big Dig’s Edible Gardens Open Day is a wonderful opportunity to get out and see some lovely community spaces, taste fresh local produce and meet more people who like to grow and eat food.”
This year 20 towns and cities will be involved, a whopping increase on last year’s six cities. This is testament to the enthusiasm of gardeners across the country who are keen to celebrate what they do and get more people involved.
Emma Houldsworth from Plot 22, a community garden in Brighton, said “I feel that taking part in Edible Gardens Open Day has really helped put the project on the map and the publicity reached many people who would not normally have found out about us.”
Many of the gardens will be putting on activities such as garden tours, talks, and games for children as well giving visitors the chance to take part in harvesting, cooking and eating the food grown on the sites.
Clare Horrell from The Big Dig, said: “We are delighted to have so many more towns and cities taking part in Edible Gardens Open Day this year. The whole point of the Big Dig is to get more people involved in community gardening and help them reap the benefits for their health and wellbeing.”
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society said: “The Social Action Fund is designed to help bring people together through innovative projects that can make a real difference in local communities. The Big Dig is doing just that - helping community groups to transform unused spaces in towns and cities for everyone to share and enjoy. Their ‘Edible Gardens Open Day’ is a great showcase of the inspiring work done across the country and I hope as many people as possible get involved this year.”
Most events will take place on Saturday, 21st September but there will also be activities throughout the week of 14th-21st. Details of participating spaces can be found on The Big Dig website at www.bigdig.org.uk.
The Big Dig is is a nationwide project which aims to engage over 10,000 people in community food-growing projects across England. The project involves organisations in 20 towns and cities and, as part of the initiative, the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens is providing advice to community groups on land issues as well as organising training sessions.
Follow The Big Dig on twitter @thebigdiguk, or visit our website www.bigdig.org.uk
The Social Action Fund is managed by The Social Investment Business, on behalf of the Cabinet Office. The Fund supports social action projects in England from civil society organisations, public sector bodies and businesses with a track record of delivering social action programmes. The Social Action Fund is part of a broader programme of support for social action that was announced in the Giving White Paper and takes its place alongside two other funding streams - Innovation in Giving Fund and Challenge Prizes.
Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity. Sustain represents around 100 national public interest organisations working at international, national, regional and local level. http://www.sustainweb.org/
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