Seeds of inspiration
Bristol is already well-known for its art trails and now the gardening equivalent is set to be launched in the city. Suzanne Savill finds out more
As food prices continue to rise, more people are becoming interested in growing their own food.
With that in mind, a new event is being launched in Bristol aimed at getting people to start cultivating their own fruit and vegetables.
The Get Growing Open Garden Day is being organised by the Bristol Food Network and the UK sustainable development charity Forum for the Future, and will feature urban food growing projects in the Bristol area – as well as a detailed map featuring inspiring plots.
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These will include an organic community orchard in Horfield, a not-for-profit organic gardening club called Buried Treasure in Knowle, a community allotment in St Paul's, a local gardening project created from derelict land in Easton, a community health and food initiative in Hartcliffe, and a chilli club in Clifton.
Paul Rainger, head of the Sustainable Bristol City Region Project for Forum for the Future, said: "It will be a grand 'open day' of about 40 city wide food-growing projects, encouraging more people to get involved with urban veg production – a sort of 'arts trail' for vegetable growing!"
Laurence Copleston of Forum for the Future adds: "This will bring together Bristol's growing groups for the first time, putting their details on to one easy-to-use map, and making it simple for people to find peaceful city sanctuaries and social garden spaces right on their doorstep."
The Get Growing Open Garden Day map – which will be available online and in print – will show the diverse range of growing projects across Bristol, with different icons for city farms, community orchards and gardens and community supported agriculture projects.
It will be accompanied by a guide called Bite into Bristol, to help people volunteer their time and get involved for themselves.
Laurence explains: "With more and more people interested in growing their own fruit and veg, we wanted to create an event that would help to promote Bristol's urban growing projects.
"We want it to become an annual celebration, inspiring people to get involved with growing and having a go for themselves.
"By running the Open Garden trail, we hope to raise awareness of Bristol's vast food-growing potential.
"We hope that this will help kick-start our vision of transforming the Bristol city and region into the UK's sustainable food capital."
In addition to being an opportunity to view growing projects around Bristol, the Open Garden trail will also feature free activities ranging from music and art to guided tours and wildlife hunts for children.
The Get Growing Open Garden Day will be held on Saturday, June 11, and is part of a campaign led by the Bristol Food Network to encourage more people to get involved with urban vegetable production and to promote alternatives to traditional allotment growing.
Full details of all the venues open for the trail will be available from early May, when the promotional guide and map will be released online and in pr int.
For further information on Get Growing Open Garden Day, go to www.bristollocalfood.co.uk.