We are partnering with Yeo Valley to ensure equity in growing education.

Never has it been more important to create an equitable food system where individuals and communities can take back control of the way they buy and eat food. Food growing skills are being lost, and despite being in a city that has more than 91 languages spoken with in it, and that is rich in food cultures access to education to learn land based skills is patchy and often expensive. Add to that an explosive housing market and more and more people finding themselves in unstable housing, many people come to the conclusion that food growing, gardening or even a career on the land, is just something that feels like a pipe dream, totally unrealistic and unaccessible.

But we want to show people that that is not the case-growing food and gardening is for everyone and to begin with we would like to address the issue of how to learn the skills needed when it feels that any learning opportunities are out of reach. To do this we are teaming up with Yeo Valley Organic who are supporting us to support more equitable learning opportunities by giving us the opportunity to offer free spaces on our How To Grow courses to people from BPOC backgrounds. Starting in mid July our courses will return to being in person at our Cultivation Place in Speedwell, as well as still being available online again from September.

The course, which we call How To Grow, offers 6 weeks of learning, both practical and theoretical, and each participant will learn what we like to think of as the building blocks of growing. We cover soil and soil health, seeds and seed sowing, propagation techniques, composting knowledge and how to work with wildlife to create a healthy ecosystem in your space, whatever that space might look like. Whether you have a balcony, a window box, a space for a few pots, or a tiny urban back garden, or even no space at all but are still interested in learning, this course is for you and what we hope will happen in the long run is that the mainstream gardening media will wake up and see that gardening isn’t all chocolate box and perfection, but sometimes is a fight for land and for somewhere to grow!

So if you have a BPOC heritage please do get in touch and let us know why you would like to take part. The first in person course begins on Saturday 17th July and all you need to do is commit to 6 Saturday sessions from 11 to 3. Interested? Send an email to sara@ediblebristol.org.uk and we will get back to you to confirm your space!!

Get Growing at our Cultivation Place!

For the last few months we have been working hard behind the scenes on a space at our Cultivation Place at Speedwell, creating what is the equivalent of a tiny urban back garden, or a tiny yard space. We are so aware that for many renters, house sharers and flat dwellers, for people from marginalised communities growing food and creating beautiful spaces feels like something they may never be able to achieve, but we are aiming to set out to prove that is not the case and that anyone can grow some of their own food, no matter how pushed for space they might be. Growing and gardening is a space that many people don’t recognise themselves in and we know that it is vital that we change this, and this is, we hope, a start.

This work is being made possible by Linda McCartney Foods, who are celebrating their 30 year anniversary by supporting 6 community garden and learning spaces across the UK. Their kind funding is making it possible for us to offer several 6 week course to 18-28 year olds who feel they would like to learn about growing in rented or impermanent spaces and how to go about it but for whom access to growing education has never been possible due to costs or just general access issues or not feeling that they are seen in that sector. The 6 weeks will include learning on soils, on composts and composting, on growing plants from seeds and propagation, and give the participants the basis of designing small spaces and how to ensure they have all the knowledge needed to take their experience back into their communities and homes.

This is the space to be built into an urban, productive back yard garden!

This course will be practical, hands on experience that will include lots of opportunity to ask questions, experiment within the space that is being built and give all participants the building blocks of good gardening and growing, using ecological principles. We can offer 6 places per course, and the first course will begin on  Monday 19thJuly and be from 11am to 3pm. 

If you think this is the course for you or someone you might know drop an email to Sara Venn, our lead, and she will get back to you with further information. Her email is sara@ediblebristol.org.uk. The course will be lead by both Sara and our community facilitator Luke Murray.

To follow what we are up to on this project follow our tags on social media-#GYOwithLinda #EdibleBristol