Volunteers start work on communal veggie Garden for Homeless Shelters

Posted on February 25, 2010 by

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Work has begun on The Growing Project, a local project which aims to work with people who have been homeless and/or live in supported accommodation in order to create a communal vegetable garden. The project is initially offering these people the opportunity to grow their own vegetables in order to encourage motivated self-development, whilst also integrating them more into society and with the local community.

Beginning the clearing stage

On Saturday 20th February a group of around 15 volunteers from the university – as part of SU Green Action’s Growing Campaign – helped clear the garden at one of the supported accommodation units of the Society of St. James’, removing the rubbish, brambles and couch grass that have long covered the garden.  By the end of the day the land had been cleared enough to allow for the second phase of the project, which will occur on Saturday 6th when the raised beds will be constructed and filled with soil.  The garden will be officially launched after Easter, after which the charities clients will work with some long-term volunteers to learn how to grow vegetables and maintain the garden.

All cleared - ready for building the raised beds

It is hoped that once the garden is built and has shown the benefits of gardening to the wellbeing of the clients involved, that the project will be rolled out across all the cities supported accomodation units, creating a network of vegetable gardens which St. James’ clients can communally work on.  Hopefully this will form part of a wider resurgence of community gardening and local food initiatives in Southampton such as the NBSP and Ropewalk Community Gardens, helping to contribute to the cities local environment and communities, and also encourage  transition to sustainable food production.

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Posted in: News, Southampton