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Good To Grow Day: How To Support Your Community Garden

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Good To Grow Day: How To Support Your Community Garden

News

The Good to Grow Day is returning for another year to celebrate community gardens around the UK. Here's how to get involved.

Francesca Brooking

Tue 5 Apr 2022

Time to get your garden on.

Good to Grow Day, a national weekend celebrating community gardens in the UK is back and running from Friday 22 - Monday 25 April.

100 gardens are expected to take part with open days, activities, tours seed swaps and more up and down the country to promote the new growing season and recruit new volunteers.

Here’s what you need to know.

A community garden part of Good to Grow Day with vegetable patches and a greenhouse

Good to Grow Day celebrates the community garden

Image Grow Wakefield

What is the Good to Grow Day?

Good to Grow Day is a national weekend dedicated to the edible community garden.

Across the UK, community gardens will explore how to grow food and invite volunteers new and old to celebrate the start of spring and the new growing season.

Formerly known as the Big Dig Day, the event was initiated in 2012 by Capital Growth, London’s Food Growing Network with over 3000 members. The network is a project run by Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming.

Visitors are welcome to come along, join garden tours, planting activities, seed swaps and learn how to grow their own food. You’ll also help prep the community gardens for the new growing season ahead.

This weekend is a fantastic opportunity for people who are interested in growing food to learn, meet a network of like-minded people and support valuable community spaces in their area.

Our urban growing spaces are critical for the cities and communities in which we live and we need to shout about them
Volunteers and children at a community garden surrounded by plants

Visitors are invited to volunteer at their local community garden

Image Miles Willis

What are community gardens?

Community gardens play a key role in providing areas with access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.

What’s more, they support physical and mental health, give people an opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn valuable new skills and help them feel connected.

The pandemic showed them to be an invaluable asset for feeding local communities. Many gardens became a refuge for people to connect with nature and access healthy food.

Community gardens also help to mitigate the effects of climate change. Just some of the ways they help include:

  • Providing green spaces in urban communities which absorb noise pollution and carbon, reduces soil erosion and creates a cooling effect.

  • Creating biodiversity corridors for local plant and wildlife.

  • Promoting sustainable and seasonal food systems.

  • Reducing the carbon footprint of food miles by growing local produce.

  • Reducing food waste through urban composting.

Many gardens are volunteer-led and rely on community support. That’s why Sustain is asking councils to do more to protect them and provide resources for further urban gardening spaces.

Fiona McAllister, Coordinator of Capital Growth, backs Sustain’s call, commenting: “Two years on from the start of the pandemic and it’s clearer than ever that our urban growing spaces are critical for the cities and communities in which we live and we need to shout about them.

“We know that community gardens are good for our health and wellbeing, we’ve also seen how urban food growing can make a real difference to local people and their access to healthy and affordable food.

“And this year we’re also inspired by the case urban growers are making for their role in addressing the climate and nature emergency and in creating more resilient communities.”

a person bent over tending to a flower bed in a garden

Community gardens have vital health and environmental benefits

Image Mrs Smith's Cottage

How can you take part in Good to Grow Day?

To volunteer at a participating community garden, visit the Good to Grow website and use its interactive map to find one near you.

If you’re part of a community garden that isn’t a member of Good to Grow, you can ask them to sign up. It’s free!

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