Growing Places Members’ magazine - Issue 4 2013, August
Crowdfunding success for Manchester Veg People Sharing the harvest at Heeley City Farm Mostyn Walled Garden - a new lease of life UK-wide city farming conference Improve your chances of funding success - tips from the funders
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Inside this issue
elcome to the last issue of Growing Places for 2013. It’s harvest season and our members have lots of produce to share and celebrate.
In London, FCFCG members come together annually to create their fantastic City Harvest Festival. See page 12 for a full report of this year’s festivities, which took place on 21 September. And on page 8, the Local Food Manager at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield explains where all the produce from their 30 local food projects goes.
UK-wide City Farming Conference
Coplow Street Gardens
Mostyn Walled Garden
Sharing the harvest at Heeley City Farm
Fintry Development Trust
FCFCG is now working with 20 pilot projects through the Growing Together partnership to explore new funding methods. One member, Manchester Veg People have recently raised £16,000 through crowdfunding. On page 14 they share their experiences and top tips. A big thank you to everyone who completed our recent Membership Survey. Over 25%
Evolving to meet new challenges FCFCG news
of our members took part, providing invaluable information and feedback that will help us shape our future services. Your thankyou gift of organic seeds are enclosed. And special congratulations to Armagh Allotments in Belfast - winners of £100 of garden centre vouchers.
Members - news in brief 10-11 15th City Harvest Festival - report
Finally, see page 5 for details of the UK-wide City Farming conference taking place later this month in Bristol.
Crowdfunding success Manchester Veg People
The copy date for the next issue is 13 January. Please send your news to the Editor.
Funding, training and other opportunities
Member services and FCFCG contact details
New members We now have 628 members. A warm welcome to all those that have joined since the last issue: • Incredible Edible Market Drayton, West Yorkshire • Growing in the City, Manchester • The Sanctuary Project Neath, West Glamorgan • Llandudno Allotment Association, Conwy • Herne Bay Community Group Projects Ltd, Kent • Rowdeford School, Wiltshire • Chipping Campden School, Gloucestershire • Digging for Dementia, Manchester • Blaise Community Garden, Bristol Page 2
• Headless Cross Community Orchard, Worcestershire • West Midlands Network Flower Show, Worcestershire • Black and Green Project, Scottish Borders • Llangybi Garden Group, Gwynedd • Get Up and Grow @ Blwch, Carmarthenshire • Moelyci Environment Centre, Gwynedd • St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Coventry • Westlands Community Garden, Worcestershire • MAXwell, Dundee
• Beechwood Gardens, West Yorkshire • Trelewis Community Garden Project, Merthyr Tydfil • ACAPella: Aquarius Community Allotment Project, Manchester • Forty Hall Farm, Hertfordshire • Meadowside Drive Oil Storage Facility, Bristol • Bradville Bloomers, Buckinghamshire • St Botolphs Urban Permaculture Garden, Essex
Evolving to meet new challenges W
e’ve often featured the Federation’s role in promoting good practice and highlighting new opportunities such as through our Emerging Trends work. This work is constantly evolving: programmes come and go. One example is the £57m Lottery funded Local Food Programme, which FCFCG originally conceived in 2002 and launched in 2008. Local Food has funded 507 projects, 76 (15%) of which are Fed members. The programme is now nearing its conclusion, with a celebratory event taking place in Manchester on 20 November to highlight the achievements of the funded groups. We hope that these successes will help to boost the recently launched ‘Growing Together’ campaign which is now gaining momentum (see right). We are hoping to secure further funds to develop this with a range of partners across the UK in 2014. We have also been busy progressing a range of funding bids for the Fed’s work across the UK, all of which are designed to be of direct benefit to our members. However, the reality of the current
funding climate means that we are unlikely to be able to offer services in exactly the same way as we done in recent years, with this impacting particularly strongly in England at present, but also in Northern Ireland and Wales. Whatever the immediate financial outlook holds, we anticipate that circumstances will change again in the future. While we currently have to plan for a lower operational budget for certain areas of our work, we are hopeful that we will be in a position to expand our service delivery again sooner rather than later. In the meantime are working hard to ensure that we get the best value for money out of the resources we have, and also that we have complementary project work in place to both support our members work and to maintain the Fed’s national advocacy role. A particular thank you to all of you who completed our recent membership survey, which is instrumental in informing the Board’s current review of our business plan and delivery strategy.
Growing Together is the campaign/brand name for the ambitious partnership headed by FCFCG. Growing Together aims to stimulate and support the development of community growing, using a mixture of tried and tested methods of support, coupled with an exploration of new funding methods such as crowdfunding and community share issues. Growing Together is now supporting around 20 pilot projects wishing to explore a range of new initiatives, from workplace allotments to hospital grounds, using various funding mechanisms. Partners on the Growing Together campaign are: • FCFCG • Action with Communities in Rural England • Community Composting Network •Community Land Advisory Service • Coops UK • Garden Organic • Groundwork • Incredible Edible Network • Permaculture Association • Plunkett Foundation • Soil Association • Sustain www.farmgarden.org.uk/ partnerships/growing-together
FCFCG Social Media We use Twitter to raise the profile of community growing groups in the UK directly to media contacts, other community-sector organisations and the public. www.twitter.com/fcfcg
Our facebook page is a great place to find out what other groups are up to, catch up on FCFCG events, network and raise the profile of your group. www.facebook.com/fcfcg.uk
We are on Youtube and Vimeo. www. farmgarden.org.uk/ videos And you can share your photos with FCFCG and other members. Join the FCFCG group on Flickr. Page 3
Branching out in Scotland Helen Pank, Scottish Development Co-ordinator reports on a busy few months for our Scottish team who have been out and about raising the profile of community growing with a range of new audiences. “This summer we’ve talked to schools who want to share their grounds with the wider community at the Scottish Learning Festival, promoted growing projects as hubs for
community activity at the Third Sector Interface conference, and organised a joint event with Nourish and the Climate Challenge Fund, focussing on local food. “We’ve also continued with our series of visits for MSPs, and have had several offers of support which will come in useful later in the year when the draft Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill is released for consultation. “And, finally, to help us with all this activity, we’re very pleased to welcome our new Development Worker, Lou Evans (pictured hard at work during our recent staff devlopment meeting at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm). Lou has been a fieldworker in Edinburgh for many years. She worked at Redhall Walled Garden so has lots of first hand experience of the benefits, and challenges, of working on a project.” email@example.com Tel. 0131 623 7058
...and in Wales These are exciting times in Wales, as the Welsh Government begins to put its new law making powers into effect, with legislation that could have a positive impact on community growing by making more land available for allotments and community gardens. FCFCG in Wales has been working with policy makers to promote the work of our members, highlighting the benefits they bring as well as the challenges they face. The team is also working closely with large landowners such as the new Natural Resources Wales Unit, Local Authorities and Welsh Page 4
Water, to identify land that could be used for communities to grow. Having the new CLAS Cymru team in place means that we have been able to focus more clearly on some of these challenges, particularly issues around land and planning. Several members have already benefited from assistance on planning applications and advice on land agreements. Please get in touch with CLAS Cymru if you need support in this area or are looking for land to grow. wales@communitylandadvice. org.uk
Rupert Dunn is our South West Wales Development Worker. “A while before I actually started working at FCFCG, I remember sitting in an office in Peru where I was working for an NGO. A job vacancy with the Fed popped up and I ‘skyped’ Katie Jones, now my manager, for a brief chat. Although I was too late to apply, when I returned to Cardiff in 2009 I did some voluntary work with Katie in the Cardiff office. “In 2011, after some more community development work, I was thrilled to start in my current role based in my native Pembrokeshire. The Fed has been the most supportive and holistic of employers I’ve had and I thoroughly enjoy meeting the many groups trying to make a change in their area. “At home in St Davids, I’m a keen baker of artisan bread and chair of my local community supported agriculture scheme. “My partner Indre and I have started keeping chickens which is a joy. Just recently I was at Meanwood Valley Urban farm in Leeds at our staff gathering. At the last minute, they gave me two chickens to take back home to West Wales. They are now safely installed with their Welsh cousins.”
UK-wide conference for city and community farmers
s some city farms celebrate 40 years of work, there is a new generation of staff and trustees taking on the mantle from the founders of the movement. They are keen to learn from the past and the work of these founders, but also to shape the future with new energy and initiatives. FCFCG is supporting a UKwide conference for city and community farmers to share ideas and discuss the future of city farming in the UK. This is a great opportunity for city farmers and all supporters of urban agriculture to network, share ideas and help shape the future of the movement. The conference will explore the mission and vision for the city and community farms movement through top-class speakers and inspired debate. There will be a chance to gain insights into the most exciting projects across the country and to share your own projects with your peers through a ‘poster’ session.
Practical advice on using social media, animal welfare, producing and selling meat, keeping bees on city farms and above all, the chance to meet like-minded people with common challenges, should not be missed by anyone who leads, works in or cares about city or community farms. Speakers include Steve Sayers, of Windmill Hill City Farm, John le Corney of Heeley City Farm, Vinny Smith mentor for St Werburgh’s City Farm and director of Stand Consulting, and Keri Facer, Professor of Educational and Social Futures at the University of Bristol. The conference takes place on Saturday 16 November at Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol from 9.30am - 4.30pm and costs £80 per delegate. For details of the full programme and to book tickets go to: www.windmillhillcityfarm.org. uk/events/conference.html
Workplace gardening in NI The workplace allotment concept is taking off in Northern Ireland, with the project at Stormont Castle, home of the NI Executive, continuing to thrive and two more statutory bodies in NI interested in participating in an exploratory tour. The tour will highlight the strengths and benefits of community growing In the workplace. A huge variety of spaces can be adapted for gardening. Thornton’s Budgens, the community supermarket in Crouch End, North London have made creative use of their roof with their ‘food from the sky’ initiative. In Los Angeles, citizens have taken to commandeering one or two spaces in car parks and digging them up to create ‘parklets’.
Green space benefits There is increasing recognition of the contribution that green spaces make to health and wellbeing, with work taking place at community farms and gardens being particularly prominent. FCFCG held a joint event in Burgess Park, London, with Keep Britain Tidy, Groundwork and the Conservation Volunteers to highlight the health and wellbeing benefits of community growing. Deputy Chief Medical Officer David Walker spoke at the event, along with Paul Farmer, the CEO of MIND. MIND’s “Ecominds” programme has received positive press coverage in recent days. Page 5
Coplow Street Gardens are thriving W
hen we interviewed Chris Blythe, the Grow Site Co-ordinator at Coplow Street Gardens, he was just off to prepare some duck for smoking at the garden’s cultural food exchange day. Contributions from other residents to lunch that day included pakoras, polish delicacies, borscht and a barbecue. The event, run in conjunction with the Black Environment Network, gives an idea of the range of activities and connections this inner-city plot has developed since it launched in 2010 in the Ladywood area of Birmingham. Over the past three years the North Summerfield Residents Association has seen the site transformed from derelict ground where garages once stood into a thriving community garden with 28 regular gardeners of all ages growing produce in 24 raised beds, a polytunnel, shed and composting facilities. It hosts regular events such as this year’s Big Dig scheme, attracts visitors from as far away as Canada and now has a waiting list for plots. Chris Blythe said: “The site provides a common ground for bringing people together, and provides a place for anyone interested in brightening up the neighbourhood and learning new skills. One lady came along to a Wednesday evening meeting last year having never grown anything but nasturtiums. This year she has a plot and she’s grown things like sweetcorn and celery – not beginner’s crops. She’s loving the experience.” The North Summerfield Grow Site started as the pilot Community Grow Space as part of the local council and primary care trust’s Grow it, Eat it, Move it, Live it
initiative (GEML). The GEML project was designed to improve the health and eating habits of the people of Ladywood by encouraging the idea of growing your own vegetables. The 190ft x 65ft site was concreted over so the garden group had to create raised beds on a limited budget. The site was initially set up with two large raised beds for participating schools, and 40 grow bags for residents who had expressed an interest in taking up allotment plots. There are now 24, 14ft x 5ft raised beds and four higher beds for people with back problems or other disabilities. When the GEML programme and its funding ended, the group began to levy a small subscription from members, augmented by money from the Ladywood Community Chest. Chris said: “We supplement our income by holding regular plant sales. The sales are also useful for gardeners in the city who can’t get out to a garden centre to buy plants, manure and so on.” Chris said the biggest challenge the site faced initially was finding people to get involved and letting them know the site was there, which became much easier once it was part of GEML. Now the
key challenge is deciding how the site should develop in future, with potential plans including putting in a water irrigation system. The project has been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ award for two years running from the RHS Neighbourhoods in Bloom scheme. They now have a waiting list for plots. Chris’s advice for other groups starting out: • Find a group before you find the growing space. If people want to get together in your area, there are organisations that can help you find land. Growing Birmingham is a great network supporting community growing in our city and there are many others whatever area you live in. • Involve others and do what you can to expand your profile and get your space noticed. It helps to form connections with wider networks and to hold activities on site that will bring people in • Don’t be afraid to have a go and jump in! Even if you don’t have much experience, you will learn as you go. • Do use the networks like FCFCG that are out there to help and can offer advice and support.
Mostyn Walled Garden - back to the future
In the 18th and 19th centuries, most country houses had a walled garden. The size of the garden and its sophistication depended on the wealth and status of the estate. Producing fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers for the house was the main purpose but there was also a large element of showing-off exotic plants and fruits such as pineapples, peaches and apricots. These gardens were designed to be worked by hand and so the majority fell into disuse during the two World Wars. After the wars, modern farm machinery came into use and vegetables were grown on a field scale. Mostyn Hall in Flintshire, Wales had a walled garden befitting its status. Designed in about 1790, the garden covered almost three acres with melon pits, pineapple houses and a large glasshouse, with sixteen fireplaces in the walls to keep them warm through the winter allowing very tender, exotic fruits to be grown. The garden fell into disuse after being used by the Land Army in WWII. Over the next decades the space was used for growing Christmas trees, as an orchard, and for pheasant rearing.
About six years ago, Mostyn Estates decided to invest in clearing the main area of the walled garden. The walls were repaired, the beds and paths restored to the original layout and the dipping pool rebuilt. While the ground work was going on, a modern irrigation system was installed. After so much money had been spent in restoration, the big question was how to make best use of this large growing area. In 2011 the garden was used by a national charity for a labour market project giving a large number of 18 to 24 year olds a year of work experience and training. During this project, all manner of community groups were invited to become involved. As the project was coming to an end, Mostyn Estates realised that there were so many benefits and that they had to step in and help it to continue. This spectacular 18th century walled garden is now run as a social enterprise. Every week school groups, community groups, charities, care organisations and other volunteers come to the garden to help grow fruit and vegetables on a commercial scale. The produce
is then supplied to families, food co-ops and restaurants across the area. The aim of the social enterprise is to help improve education, health and prosperity across all areas of the community. Participants have the opportunity to be fully involved in all aspects of growing. They enjoy exercise in the fresh air, social interaction, confidence building and learning new skills. They can see and learn how easily fresh food may be grown to organic principles. Activities at the garden are always tailored to suit the needs of the individual participants. Seed sowing, heavy digging, gentle weeding, watering, pruning, harvesting or just taking the time to enjoy a walk around provides the opportunity for everyone to gain from the experience. Lord Mostyn has given his support to the project and is often to be found working alongside participants. New volunteers of all abilities are encouraged to join the team. Local families who want to buy fresh vegetables can join the weekly customer list. www.mostynestates.co.uk
© Darrell Maryon
Sharing the harvest at Heeley City Far
eeley City Farm in Sheffield manages, co-manages and advises 30 plus local food growing sites across Sheffield and South Yorkshire, several of which are financed with help from the Big Lottery Fund. Local Food Manager at Heeley, Darrell Maryon oversees all the projects. Here Darrell describes what happens to all the produce grown on the farm’s different growing sites.
“The Firth Park Community Allotment Garden was started originally as a partnership project between Heeley City Farm and Firth Park Sure Start Children’s Centre, so the focus has always been on young families with pre-school children, with a wide range of cultures and ethnicities. Produce is often cooked and eaten on the allotment plot, as well taken home by the families.
“It’s a common question asked by visitors to the community gardens that we manage: Where does it all go, i.e. what happens to all the fruit and vegetables that can be observed in their abundance at this time of year?
“Similarly at The Foyer, a housing project for young people, we run a garden giving the residents the opportunity to do some growing, learn how to cook with the produce and then enjoy sharing the meal. We also have regular ‘cook and eat’ sessions with the Ecominds group at Meersbrook Park Community Garden.
“The produce from the kitchen garden at Heeley City Farm is divided three ways. First pick goes to the cooks at The Farm Kitchen (the Farm’s community café) who select whatever takes their fancy. The rest either goes to the farm’s garden centre for sale, or is taken home by volunteer gardeners who have sometimes never tried a certain item before - Florence fennel, anyone? - or only ever tried supermarket varieties that can lack flavour from harvesting too early or from too much irrigation. Page 8
“The schools we garden with do the same with their teachers in class time. The result is that children, young people and some adults that may initially be resistant to eating vegetables, or not sure how to cook or use them, often overcome this barrier because they have seen the crops grow, tended and harvested by themselves.
“At the Norfolk Park Community Garden, produce is mainly divided up among the volunteers, but is also donated to the Beacon project where once a month a hearty meal is prepared for local people in need to come along and enjoy. “We also grow a wide range of crops for marketing, principally at Wortley Hall Walled Garden, our out of town site. Whilst we use organic methods on all our gardens, we hold a Soil Association organic licence for Wortley, meaning we can market the produce as organic and attract the premium prices that accrue to that status. “Two of our main outlets are workers’ cooperatives that run vegetable box schemes, Beanies, a wholefood and grocers shop and Regather Cooperative. We also supply New Roots, a food shop run by volunteers, and the Wortley Farm Shop, run by a local farming family. “Finally, we also sell crops at our events and at the Nether Edge Farmers’ Market, a popular market in a Sheffield suburb. We took 25 different types of fruit and vegetables to the September
© Garath Bagnall
© The Stirling Observer
A fruitful four days in Fintry
market. In an average year, we will grow at least 50 different kinds of edible crops, plus a whole range of herbs. The 2.5 acre Wortley site alone will grow at least 5 tonnes of produce this year, including over 150kg of salad crops, about a quarter of a tonne each of leeks, carrots and tomatoes, and about a third of a tonne each of squash and potatoes! “While this amount of food may meet only the merest fraction of Sheffield’s needs, the small size of land and resources used for the amount crops produced is significant. “The skills, knowledge and experience attained by our dozens of volunteer gardeners are possibly even more significant, as many are then able to grow food for themselves, their family and friends and the wider community.” www.heeleyfarm.org.uk
We would really love to hear from you! Please send us your news so we can include it in the next issue of Growing Places. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fintry Development Trust (FDT) is based in the village of Fintry, Stirlingshire in Scotland. It has the broad aim of reducing energy use in the village – ultimately, making the village a zero-carbon, zero-waste community. Last August, the trust opened up their newly established community garden to host a community gardening and networking event in partnership with FCFCG and Trellis. Participants enjoyed a practical planting session guided by Jean Gavin from the Hidden Gardens, converting a blank canvas into a beautiful sensory garden. Different beds were used to evoke the different senses; sight, sound, smell and taste. Plants used ranged from thyme, lemon balm to tasty humble strawberries. They will create a wonderful place to sit and relax next summer. FDT would like to thank CSV for their support and for generously funding the purchase of these plants. FDT are keen to ensure that the Fintry Garden complements and enhances local wildlife and Jean gave valuable advice on how this
could be achieved in addition to tips on monitoring the numbers of local beasties. Over the course of the day FDT shared their experiences and learning about setting up a community garden. Most importantly, participants also had the chance to network and share their news and experiences. Many positive connections where made and the opportunity to share knowledge welcomed by all. This meeting was part of a wider four day event, ‘Four Days in Fintry’, which aimed to give a taste of some of the projects that take place within the village: community gardening, Fintry Energy Efficient Transport and Energy Efficient Driver Training, a bike maintenance workshop, renewable energies and Open Doors. Another four day event is planned soon which will cover biomass for community buildings, community orchards and the launch of the Cycle Fintry project. www.fintrydt.org.uk
Members Spitalfields City Farm hosts London’s first Chilli Festival
communities in Tower Hamlets. Everyone sort of rallies around the chilli.” Original article: www. eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news
Signing at Hulme Community Garden Centre
The first chilli festival to be held in London brought thousands together to celebrate the ways different cultures eat and cook chilli. The Festival of Heat, run by Spitalfields City Farm offered the chance to taste a range of chilli dishes made by local residents. The 3,500 people who attended the festival were able to sample food at cafes, restaurants and 20 stalls. Event co-ordinator Rossana Leal said: “We wanted to hold a chilli festival because there has not been one in London before, and we felt that chilli is something that people all over London can identify with.” She added: “What was wonderful was how all the different communities in London were there running stalls and enjoying the day.” The festival included the city farm’s Eco-chic Traders, a project held every Sunday to teach people how to run a market stall to encourage social enterprise, create jobs and bring money into the area. Richard Walker, a community gardener at the farm who helped organise the festival, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the way it went. The chilli brings people together across class and race. It really is a uniting thing there were people from all the Page 10
Staff at Hulme Community Garden Centre in Manchester are learning how to incorporate sign language as a tool to aid communication and to improve support for the centre’s two volunteers from the deaf community. The Garden Centre has 240 volunteers on its books at the moment, many of whom suffer from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Working together in a beautiful outdoor environment builds social skills and combats isolation. But for volunteers who are deaf and mute, although they can easily participate in all the gardening sessions, communication barriers still exist – especially during lunch and tea breaks. So the existing group of volunteers with severe learning disabilities slowly began to incorporate BSL (British Sign Language) within their gardening sessions. It then expanded to include staff and other groups of volunteers with the support of a Speech and Language Therapist Manchester Learning Disability Partnership and Sign Health.
Sign language is a non-verbal system of communication that focuses on communicating one’s ideas and thoughts through hand shapes, finger spelling and facial expressions. Already the team have noticed that these sessions have helped to improve social skills, develop gardening abilities and increase self- confidence. They also provide an opportunity for individuals to access green space, and a chance to interact with others in an understanding and safe environment. Hulme Community Garden Centre works with residents to create community gardens in their neighbourhoods, and share skills for growing spaces. The fully stocked nursery supplies beautiful and productive organic plants to big and small customers alike. www.hulmegardencentre.org.uk
Bankside Open Spaces Trust best year ever
The team at Bankside Open Spaces Trust in London have reason to be very proud - their work has just been honoured, across the country - twice! The project has been presented with the Britain in Bloom Certificate of Distinction and the UK Man and Biosphere Urban Wildlife Ward 2013 - a UNESCO award no less! Jane Houghton, Senior Adviser Greenspace from Natural England
Members said: “Bankside Open Spaces Trust has achieved something truly inspiring. It is a great example of how a charitable trust can work closely with local people and volunteers to turn their neighbourhood’s underused green spaces into vibrant community assets which reconnect people with nature. Their projects are hugely popular and include food growing clubs, a ‘Pop Up Olympics’ and the creation of new habitats for wildlife. Bankside Open Spaces Trust richly deserves this Award for Excellence.” Tim Wood, Chair of BOST’s trustees said: “This is a fantastic achievement and reflection on a long journey since the days I remember of seeing burnt out cars on Mint Street Park, or the local park that was so forgotten someone might lock their pit-bull into it and go off to work! “We have worked with local people to reclaim a network of green places and ended up with beautiful gardens like Red Cross Garden, Tate Community Garden and the Diversity Garden. We have also enabled a network of Edible Bankside community growers on housing estates through the area to thrive. I would like to thank all our partners and volunteers for making this possible. We dedicate these amazing awards to them.” www.bost.org.uk
Stonebridge City Farm heritage project Stonebridge City Farm has received Heritage Lottery funding to set up a community research project to document the history of the St Ann’s area of Nottingham over the past 100 years. Their aim is to create links between older members of St Ann’s and
young people associated with the farm and the local area. The project hopes to create a record of memories ranging from life in pre-war St Ann’s to the impact of immigration by compiling a database of images, maps and newspaper articles. www.stonebridgecityfarm.com
Cocktails by donkey
As part of London’s Urban Food Fortnight programme, which is a smorgasbord of mouthwatering events and urban growing innovation, the team at Stepney City Farm created a new cocktail - The Stepney Sway. The farm’s resident donkeys George and Dunstan then delivered fresh farm herbs and the recipe for the new cocktail and mocktail to local pubs, clubs and bars. For the recipe visit: http://stepneycityfarm.tumblr.com
Kentish Town City Farm Heritage website Kentish Town City Farm celebrated its 40th birthday in 2012 with a heritage exhibition, ‘The First 40 Years’ charting some of the most memorable moments from the farm’s beginnings in the 1970s. There is now a dedicated website hosting all of the photos, films and audio interviews that were gathered for the project, providing a fascinating portrait of the farm’s development. http://40years.ktcityfarm.org.uk
Noticeboard Free trees The Woodland Trust has 3,000 free tree packs to give away to school, community and youth groups for spring 2014. Each pack is worth £30, £105 or £420. All you need to do is find a suitable site and supply the volunteer planters and tree protection. A new feature of the scheme is that you can now apply for more than one pack with 420 saplings being the maximum quantity. It is best to apply sooner rather than later as the scheme is usually oversubscribed. The trust is also trying to help bees by encouraging groups to plant species that are bee-friendly through their nectar or pollen. www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/ freetrees
European database The European Federation of City Farms (EFCF) has an online database of good practice incorporating tried and tested projects on city farms and community gardens. www.cityfarms.org/guidances/ index/type:practice
Farm visits Why not contact your local school and offer to take them on as your farm’s ‘School of the Year’? Repeat visits once or twice a term by the same school are a great way to ease you into the joys of hosting educational visits. Food and Countryside Education (FACE) can provide help and support. www.face-online.org.uk/ farmers Page 11
London’s 15th City Harvest scores 12 o visitors could try blacksmithing with the Stepney Blacksmiths, learn about beekeeping at the Bee World stand and make a willow fence with Mudlarks Community Garden
his year’s City Harvest Festival was a hit with judges and visitors alike, with one guest awarding the day a winning score of 12 out of 10. The team were blessed with warm autumn sunshine to set up the show in the days leading up to the event. On the day there was a full programme of fantastic animals and produce to show off to visitors. The horticulture and home produce marquee had a wonderful display of fruit and vegetables from the diverse community gardens of London, with seasonal fruit and vegetable displays forming the centrepiece. The horticulture judges said the community garden exhibits were of RHS standard. The animal shows featured 130 children from 12 London farms showing 160 animals in a series of competitions. The animal judges included Duchy College and rare breed specialists. The judges recognised that the city farms are not only highly skilled in terms of animal husbandry but that they also do invaluable work with children and young people. John Fishwick from the Royal Veterinary College, who took part as a judge for the first time this year, said: “Many thanks for including me in yesterday’s activities. It was a fantastic day.
The quality of the stock and the standard of animal care and stockmanship shown by everyone were really of a very high standard. I was very honoured to be part of this very special event.” Michelle Chappell, a judge from Duchy College, said: “Congratulations again on organising a great event (and especially to) all the volunteers and young handlers for all their hard work in preparing the stock and arranging to transport all the animals and equipment to Capel Manor... All the young handlers demonstrated excellent knowledge of how to care for their animals. All participants and their supporters should be commended for their efforts and huge community support. I am, as last year, very honoured to be invited.” Community caterers Soupy Norman and Filling the Gap fed the crowds in the food area, with cooking demonstrations from Moa, a community nutritionist from the Phoenix School Farm and John Langan from Kentish Town City Farm. The Thai vegetable carving by Sumalee Murphy also proved very popular. The ‘have a go’ area offered pottery, corn dolly making, floral headbands, seed bomb making and plenty to keep the kids happy, while outside on the showground
The team welcomed guests from BBC London, Planning Aid, British Land, the Mayors of the London Boroughs of Redbridge and Havering and the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council. Freightliners Farm Café cooked up great food for guests, VIPs, and judges. The day finished with the traditional epic tug of war, won this year by Newham City Farm. Visitor comments included: “Wonderful show - lovely to see the animals, and the horticulture tent is amazing. 12 out of 10! “Wonderful! For all ages. So much to do and see - please continue yearly.” “I had a very, very, very nice day and I liked the animal ring the best” Lucy aged 5 Thanks to: • All our expert judges: Agnes Knoll, NUS Student Eats; Tom Wheatcroft and Mark Cook, Capel Manor; Kathleen Earley, freelance gardening journalist; Bronwen Wilson, independent judge; Liz Wright, Practical Sheep, Goats and Alpacas magazine; Ray Bowler, Redpoll Cattle Society; Michelle Chappell and Debbie Duke, Duchy College; Paul Bryant, Head of Animal Care, Capel Manor; John Fishwick, Royal Veterinary College; Tom Davis, Capel Manor • Our sponsors, funders and supporters: Geronimo Inns; Help a Capital Child; The
out of 10 Metropolitan Public Gardens Association; The Chelsea Physic Garden; Waitrose Community Matters • Julie, Paul and all the staff at Capel Manor College • All the volunteers, staff and supporters from London’s city farms and community gardens who worked so hard to put on the show! FCFCG members taking part this year: Urban Growth • Phoenix School • Woodlands Farm Trust • Wellgate Community Farm • Surrey Docks Farm • Spitalfields City Farm • Lambourne End Outdoor Centre • Newham City Farm • Hammersmith Community Gardens Association • Walworth Garden Farm • Mudlarks Community Garden • Kentish Town City Farm • Hackney City Farm • Freightliners Farm • Brooks Farm • Stepney City Farm • Ladder Garden • Sydenham Garden • Deen City Farm And the winners were: • Animal Show Shield Brooks Farm • Horticultural Show Plate Freightliners Farm • Best Garden Displays Mudlarks Community Garden and Freightliners Farm received prizes of £150 courtesy of MPGA • Best In Show - The Blacksmiths prize, made on the day, went to Woodlands Farm Trust • Best Educational Exhibit - FACE recieved a prize of a group visit to the Chelsea Physic Garden • Best Young Animal Handler Grace from Brooks Farm • Best animal in show Hermione, a beautiful donkey from Surrey Docks Farm. © All images: Nemone Mercer
Management and resources
Manchester Veg People - £16,000 crowdfunding success A
s reported in previous issues of Growing Places, FCFCG has been working on a new programme, Growing Together, that aims to unlock money, land and skills to support community growing. One of the programme’s key aims is to help members learn about the fundraising potential of crowdfunding and other forms of digital income generation (DIG). A mixture of digital income generation and a good oldfashioned publicity stunt helped a Manchester food co-operative raise more than £16,000 in six weeks. This article explores how they ran their campaign and their advice to other groups considering crowdfunding.
Over 300 people from across the UK made pledges from £5 to £1,000. Hitting the target also meant MVP could collect £5,500 match-funding from Defra through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), bringing the total raised to £22,000.
giving out printed bookmarks, a poster, and producing a good quality video promoting the campaign that could be used on the crowdfunding website and on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. They found social media a particularly effective way to get the message across.
Publicising the campaign
Helen Woodcock of the Kindling Trust, which works closely with Manchester Veg People and helped run the campaign, said: “The key is to make the campaign message really simple but innovative and interesting. It needs to be a bit quirky and different to attract publicity.”
The group kicked off the venture with a publicity stunt to attract press interest. A team of people dressed as vegetables cycled a trailer of locally grown veg across Manchester to MVP member Common Café Bar, where they cooked and served up the produce.
Helen said: “Setting up and running the campaign took an incredible amount of work. We think 6 weeks was probably too long a run as well – four would have been better, with a longer lead in. It was also hard to find enough rewards for donors though in the end the rewards we got were really great - they ranged from goody bags and ‘be a farmer days’ to a 9-course tasting menu at an award-winning restaurant.”
Manchester Veg People (MVP) is a co-op of local organic growers and buyers who are working together to help develop a new model for the local food supply chain in Manchester. Their campaign goal was to fund the creation of more storage space and the purchase of their own van to allow the co-op to supply more pubs, restaurants, canteens and schools across Greater Manchester and encourage more local farmers to grow for them by paying them a living wage. They used Crowdfunder, an online platform that allows charities to create a time-limited fundraising campaign for a particular project and ask people to donate to it. Charities can offer ‘rewards’ for different levels of donation to help encourage people to give. If you don’t hit your full target, the money is returned to the donors. Page 14
This helped kick start the campaign and donations were high for the first couple of weeks. A lull followed, so the group put in some money of their own to inject some energy into the campaign. Helen said: “We also changed the focus of the campaign halfway through to show how improved equipment would help MVP supply quality food for schools. This meant potential donors could see the wider picture of what the money would allow them to achieve.“ The group used a variety of different marketing methods, including contacting local press,
Advice for other groups Helen said: “Some people don’t like making payments online and prefer to put a cheque in the post so you need to make provision for this as well. We think the majority of support came from our personal contacts. Donors may have been encouraged by the fact that we had the offer of matched funding from Defra.” For more information visit: Growing Together: www.farmgarden.org.uk/ partnerships/growing-together Crowdfunder: www.crowdfunder.co.uk Manchester Veg People: http://vegpeople.org.uk The Kindling Trust: www.kindling.org.uk
Management and resources
Community supported conservation grazing
Comic Relief Offers Free Use of Its Online Gift Aid Software HMRC introduced Charities Online in April 2013, and charities are now required to submit claims using the system or use a new paper form.
Many grasslands and meadows require careful grazing to maintain flora and fauna. A range of flowers, butterflies and other insects need pasture to be grazed well for their survival, particularly in species rich areas. Graziers can potentially benefit from support from the local community – that’s where the Fed and our members come in. Growing Places Issue 3 included an article about FCFCG member Brill Village Community Herd and their successful introduction of community supported conservation grazing on commonland in their village. Around the country other community-based solutions are springing up and community groups are accessing land previously used only for farming. Riverbourne CSA manage a farm as a community enterprise, for conservation purposes. In Brighton, a large team of trained volunteer ‘lookerers’ including dog walkers, check daily on a flock on the chalk downland. In other places small groups of neighbours look after animals and share the meat, sometimes with an expert farmer on hand in case of difficulty.
In October about 60 people attended a Fed organised event to discuss community conservation grazing. Attendees included conservationists, councillors, community groups, farmers and landowners. Issues considered included insurance for volunteers, animal movement regulations, licences and leases, fencing and water, suitable breeds, small local markets for the meat, shared equipment, getting good conservation advice about grazing regimes, animal welfare and vandalism. If you are a community group thinking about community grazing, there will probably be a stock keeper interested to speak to you. The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group or the Grazing Animals Project may be able to help you and the Community Land Advisory Service would like to hear your plans. Please contact Jade Bashford. email@example.com For further information: Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group: www.fwag.org.uk Grazing Animals Project: www. grazinganimalsproject.org.uk
Comic Relief is offering charities free use of Gift Aid software it has developed to work with HM Revenue & Customs’ new online filing system. The software links directly with Charities Online. Comic Relief said it was being made available on an opensource basis because some charities were unable to meet the start date for the new system. Visit Comic Relief’s opensource download page: https:// github.com/comicrelief/gail
In Kind Direct Have you ever thought how much it would help if you could find a cheaper source of the goods you use in the course of your work? In Kind Direct redistributes surplus goods from manufacturers and retailers to UK charities. All you pay for each pack of goods is the handling fee, which contributes to the costs of collecting, warehousing and delivering the goods to your door. There are also other special partnerships with companies offering discounts. www.inkinddirect.org
Funding, training and other opportunities BIG Reaching Communities changes BIG have introduced improvements to their Reaching Communities programme. The upper grant limit has been increased and the application process has been reviewed. BIG are now offering more flexible funding for projects, including buildings, in one application form. You can now apply for the costs of building works and funds to deliver activities once the building works are completed. They have made it easier to apply for up to £100,000 towards a building project. www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_ reaching_communities
BITC - ProHelp ProHelp provides free professional advice and support to local community groups and voluntary organisations. www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/ prohelp
Co-operative Community Fund Community Fund grants of between £100 and £2,000 are awarded to community, voluntary or self-help groups to run projects that: • address a community issue • provide a good long-term benefit to the community • support co-operative values and principles • ideally are innovative in their approach. Applications can be submitted at any time using the online form. www.co-operative.coop/ membership/local-communities/ community-fund
Leeds Building Society Charitable Foundation Support for community based projects benefiting local residents. The project must operate in the area of one of the society’s 67 branches. Donations are normally
in the range of £250 to £1,000 for capital expenditure only, not running costs. Applications can be made in writing at any time. www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/ about/charitable_foundation.html
SNH Community Action Grants Grants of between £1,000 and £20,000 are available for projects focussing on getting more people and communities involved in: outdoor recreation, volunteering and outdoor learning, action to improve, protect and manage habitats, species and landscapes, citizen science and biological recording. www.snh.gov.uk/funding/ourgrants/how-apply
Sylvia Waddilove Foundation This foundation provides grants to charitable organisations for new projects including those relating to education in organic farming and animal husbandry and skills-based training for young people. www.pwwsolicitors.co.uk/ funding-applications/13-the-sylviawaddilove-foundation-uk
The Wakeham Trust The Wakeham Trust provides grants to help people rebuild their communities. They are particularly interested in neighbourhood projects, community arts projects, projects involving community service by young people, or projects set up by those who are socially excluded. They aim to refresh the parts that other funding sources can’t reach, especially new ideas and unpopular causes. They favour smaller projects. www.wakehamtrust.org Page 16
Funding, training and other opportunities
Improve your chances of funding success tips from the funders Our Funding and Community Enterprise advisors in Wales recently interviewed a selection of grant funders to find out what common mistakes are made when making a funding application, and what top tips they have to recommend when writing a strong funding application.
Awards For All Wales
A. Usually just the simple things like not completing all sections of the form or missing a signature. We do advise groups to ring us first to ensure that they are eligible to make an application, and to run the project past us to demonstrate they meet the criteria. It’s just simple things that make the application not eligible rather than the project itself!
We interviewed Jo Horsley the National Trust Development Officer from Environment Wales. Q. Environment Wales development officers work with groups before an application is submitted to EW, but we were wondering what common mistakes have you seen when people make grant applications to funders in general? A. Presuming the grants panel will know the project intimately when they may well not know the project at all, so omitting basic information such as where they are and what they actually do. In doing this they could fail to demonstrate the capacity to deliver a project by not giving the briefest of outlines of their organisation. Q. Do you have any top tips you can recommend for groups writing funding bids? A. Find out what the funder’s outcomes are, list them and then write beside them everything your project proposal does to deliver these outcomes. Then when you write the bid ensure you include all these in it. In this way you will not end up writing a social bid to an environmental funder or visa versa by forgetting how you have to angle your bid.
We spoke to Scott from the helpdesk for Awards for All Wales Small Grants Fund which awards grants of up to £5,000. Q. What common mistakes do groups make, when applying to Awards for All Wales?
Q. Do you have any top tips for making a good application to Awards for All Wales? A. Yes, it helps to demonstrate the benefit of the project to the community, and to make sure you show why the project is needed and what would happen if the funding wasn’t granted.
could generate a profit for the group or social enterprises. These groups may have great aims and objectives, but unfortunately if they don’t meet the criteria we can’t fund them. I cannot stress enough how important it is to check the eligibility criteria. If in doubt, give us a ring to run your project past us. Q. What constitutes a good application for the Co-operative Community Fund? A. Demonstrating that you meet the criteria is a must, but also it’s important to show the value to the community. Also make sure your referee knows your project well. It’s the simple things like not filling in all the sections, or assuming we know what your project is doing and your local area or user groups. Make sure you explain the benefit of the project. For details of accredited online courses in ‘Funding for community groups’ visit: www.fit4funding.org.uk/training_ programme.php
Co-operative Community Fund We spoke to Lisa from the Cooperative Community Fund. To apply for a grant you don’t need to be a member of the Co-op, but a member of your group (not necessarily a committee member) does need to be. To find out more go to the Co-operative Community Fund website (see left). Q. What common mistakes do groups make, when applying for the Co-operative Community Fund? A. Often it’s not checking the eligibility criteria. Our exclusions are very clear on our website but we often gets groups applying for core funds, or for purposes which
InfoZone Don’t forget that as an FCFCG member you can access a wealth of online information resources via our website. Simply visit: www.farmgarden. org.uk/infozone
Enewsletter Containing funding and other opportunities, the enewsletter is sent out to members inbetween issues of Growing Places. To make sure you are on the mailing list, please send your email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org Page 17
FCFCG member services
Make the most of your FCFCG membership
s an FCFCG member you are part of the wider movement of community-managed green spaces that benefit from the support, representation and promotion FCFCG provides. This page summarises the key benefits available to you.
Support Services • Development staff and a pool of experienced Fieldworkers based across the UK provide practical help and advice on a range of subjects and issues. • Emergency information and support (eg for disease outbreaks such as bird flu). • Free financial advice session with our Finance Manager (subject to availability). • Access to specialist support networks and initiatives including the School Farms Network and Growing With Schools. • Networking and training opportunities, including local networking and training events throughout the year on themes requested by our membership. These events are free or highly subsidised for members.
Publications and mailings • You will receive free copies, either by post or email depending on your membership category, of our quarterly members’ newsletter Growing Places, and our Summer Public Newsletter and Annual Review. • Single hard copies of publications are available free to members on request, where available. • Multiple copies of promotional publications such as maps and Page 18
leaflets are also available. • We will circulate your inserts for job vacancies, events etc free of charge in our postal mailings.
Travel Bursaries • Travel bursaries of up to £150 (when available) towards the costs of visits to other community groups in your area or to our training/networking events. For more details contact your local FCFCG staff member.
Online Services • You will have access to our comprehensive online resource centre in the members Info Zone on our website. • Copies of publications and newsletters are available to download. • Using FCFCG website’s online shop to market items for sale (in development). • Advertising and promotion for your events on our website. • Our site has specific regional or country pages with useful local information. • Regular e-newsletters and e-bulletins to keep you informed of news, funding, training and information resources.
Other benefits • Access to a low-cost public liability insurance scheme designed specifically for community growiing projects (joining FCFCG does NOT mean you automatically have insurance cover). • Access to our exhibitions, digital presentations,
photographs and videos. • Access to FCFCG grants and bursaries (when available) and subsidised feasibility studies and consultancy services at discounted rates. • Members who receive visitors are prioritised to be featured in our popular map publications, highlighting city farms and community gardens in regions across the UK which are available free to the general public. • There are opportunities for FCFCG to raise your profile if you: host events that we run, have an article in Growing Places magazine or host a Seeing is Believing tour for policy makers. • Members can nominate someone to the FCFCG Board.
NCVO/SCVO membership NCVO in England and SCVO in Scotland are umbrella bodies providing specialised information, advice and support to the voluntary and community sector. All English FCFCG community members with an income of less than £10,000 per year are automatically eligible for free NCVO community membership. For details of NCVO benefits see: www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/FCFCG All Scottish FCFCG community members with an income of less than £25,000 per year are entitled to free SCVO membership. For details of SCVO benefits see: www.scvo.org.uk Unfortunately, we do not currently offer a similar benefit for members in Wales and Northern Ireland.
FCFCG member services
Get in touch... F
CFCG has several offices throughout the UK through which we deliver our services to members.
Areas covered by our Development Workers Key: Northern Ireland Scotland
Staff at our UK office in Bristol can deal with general enquiries, press and PR, membership, finance, and requests for information and support. Our Chief Executive, Jeremy Iles, can also be contacted at this office.
Tel. 0117 923 1800 email@example.com
Development staff across the UK Our development staff can provide specialist hands-on advice and have a knowledge of sources of information, support and funding in your area. For details of individual staff in each region/country please see the relevant pages of our website. www.farmgarden.org.uk/ farms-gardens/your-region
Wales Our Wales staff work from offices in Cardiff, Pembrokeshire, and Llanberis. The team in Cardiff deals with general enquiries and can provide contact details for the other offices. Tel. 02920 235 535 or 225 942 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotland Our Scottish team are based at Gorgie City Farm, Edinburgh. Tel. 0131 623 7058 email@example.com
Midlands North England London East England
Northern Ireland Our Northern Ireland Development Co-ordinator is based in Belfast. Tel. 07725 699 442 firstname.lastname@example.org
England We have four offices in England.
North Our Northern Development Co-ordinator is based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne Tel. 01207 562 317 email@example.com
London and the East
Our London Development Co-ordinator is based at Kentish Town City Farm. Tel. 0207 485 5001 firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Midlands Development Co-ordiantor is based in Coventry. Tel. 02476 675 211 email@example.com
Our South West Development Co-ordinator is based in Exeter. Tel. 01392 243 233 firstname.lastname@example.org
Projects and partnerships Growing with Schools (GWS) Tel. 02476 675 211 email@example.com www.growing-with-schools.org.uk
Community Land Advice Service (CLAS) England: Tel. 0117 966 9491 england@communitylandadvice. org.uk Scotland Tel. 0131 623 7058 scotland@communitylandadvice. org.uk Wales 02921 960 966 wales@communitylandadvice. org.uk www.communitylandadvice. org.uk
Growing Places Membersâ€™ magazine - Issue 4 2013, November UK Office The GreenHouse, Hereford Street, Bristol, BS3 4NA Tel. 0117 923 1800 Fax. 0117 923 1900 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.farmgarden.org.uk News, events, job vacancies, how to set up a new city farm or community garden, members zone and online seachable database giving details of city farms and community gardens across the UK.
Copy date for next issue: 13 January We are happy to include items sent in by members, including news about your project, ideas and advice for other projects.
Supporting communities to manage their local green spaces Patron HRH The Prince of Wales Chief Executive Jeremy Iles Chair David Drury Charity no. 294494 Company no. 2011023 Scottish charity no. SCO39440 Printed using vegetable-based inks on recycled paper.
This newsletter can be made available in large type, Braille or on audio-tape. Tel. 0117 923 1800 FCFCG receives funding from many sources including:
Published on Nov 7, 2013