As the weather warms and plants start to shoot up, it’s the perfect time to check out Sheffield’s flourishing food and gardening projects.
Gardening and growing food is great for mental health, it’s cheap, it makes the most of Sheffield, and makes the city even more beautiful. Working with healthy food projects that benefit the local community is also great for mental health, improving self-esteem and self-worth.
Here, Sheffield Flourish’s Rob Barnett looks at 10 food/gardening projects.
Saves good food destined for waste, and sends it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people. Go to http://www.fareshare.org.uk/volunteering/ to watch an awesome video about volunteering at FareShare!
Harvests fruit from Sheffield’s many trees – the most in any city in Western Europe – to share out amongst the community, either as fruit, or made into pickles and preserves for storage and use throughout the year. If you would like to give Abundance a hand harvesting trees in your area, give them a call on: 07508 269 388
The Real Junk Food Project: https://realjunkfoodsheffield.com
A holistic network of pay as you feel cafés, diverting food destined for waste to instead use it to create delicious and healthy meals. If you would like to volunteer with the Real Junk Food Project, go to the “Volunteer” section on the website and fill in the online form.
Foodhall is Sheffield City Centre’s “pay as you feel” restaurant. It aims to tackle food waste, food poverty, and social isolation. It is community-led and run by volunteers. If you would like to get involved, email: [email protected]
Groundwork South Yorkshire: http://www.groundworksy.org.uk/
Groundwork are a green organisation working across the UK to help communities find practical solutions to the challenges they face. They
provide training and create jobs, help reduce energy use and waste, re-connect people with nature, and transform whole neighbourhoods. Groundwork South Yorkshire offer volunteer opportunities in a wide variety of areas, from working with young people to looking after wildlife. Go to the “volunteering” section on the website and fill in the online form.
SAGE Greenfingers: http://www.sagesheffield.org.uk/
Sage Greenfingers provides gardening as therapy for adults with mental health problems. A safe and welcoming environment nurtures people of all different ages and abilities. Read one volunteer’s heartwarming experience at Sage Greenfingers here: https://sheffieldflourish.co.uk/stories/sage-greenfingers-dare-to-dream/
To see how to join Sage Greenfingers, go to the above website.
Oasis Gardening: https://sheffieldflourish.co.uk/gardening-for-recovery-at-oasis/
Grow your own vegetables, learn and share skills, meet new people and spend time amongst nature in lovely surroundings at Sheffield Flourish’s own garden. Read how one volunteer found Oasis Gardening helped her to recover from clinical depression: https://sheffieldflourish.co.uk/stories/the-simple-theraputic-power-of-nature/
Go to the Oasis Gardening website, displayed above, to see how to volunteer 🙂
Regather is a fruit & vegetable box scheme that delivers the best local, seasonal, organic produce direct to homes across Sheffield and surrounding areas. Our own Abi Barragry recently wrote about the joys of receiving a veg box from Regather: https://sheffieldflourish.co.uk/stories/who-knew-it-grew-in-sheffield/
If you are interested in getting involved with the fruit and vegetable box scheme, please email [email protected]
Heeley City Farm: https://www.heeleyfarm.org.uk/
Heeley City Farm is a friendly farm and environmental visitor centre in the heart of Sheffield. You can meet the friendly animals, take your kids to play in the under 8’s playground, or enjoy fresh, home cooked meals in the café, The Farm Kitchen.
There are so many different ways to get involved with Heeley City Farm it is really worth going to the “Contact Us” page on the above website and taking a look, including opportunities for children over 8 to volunteer, and opportunities for adults with learning difficulties, or adults with dementia.
To get involved with local food growing contact Darrell on: [email protected] or 07768932613
Incredible Edible Todmorden: https://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/
This is a bit further away from Sheffield (in the countryside just north-east of Manchester) but is such an amazing story that we wanted to share it. A whole town and community transformed by a movement to grow and produce locally and sustainably. Fruit and herbs grown all around the town, vegetables growing in every school and college, many local people raising chickens for eggs and meat. It is a wonderful story of community involvement and positive values. Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/36838823
Many other towns in England and indeed across the world have now joined the Incredible Edible movement – let’s see if we can also do our bit! Ways to help are highlighted on the home page of the above website.
Of course, as well as all of these amazing projects, you can also grow food in your own garden, yard, or local community space. We hope that one way or another you are inspired to get involved with food and gardening in your local area! Have fun!