Grow your own

Sarah from Sustainable Warminster has had an allotment for approximately 24 years now!  Back then a 35 year old woman taking a plot was not the norm. The Tynning’s allotments, on Bradley Road, had many surplus plots and struggled to find people to take them on. Now you may well find that you have to wait for a plot but you will also find that there are more young people and families enjoying the pleasure of working outdoors and growing and eating their own SEASONAL fruit and vegetables.  

Even with limited space, it is possible to enjoy   growing some produce in your garden, in amongst your flowers or in pots or grow bags on your patio or balcony.  Tomatoes, spinach, french and runner beans, a courgette plant, lettuce, and so much more can be grown in a small space – “I have even seen fantastic sweetcorn grown in large pots”! 

People in rural areas like Warminster often have large gardens, sometimes too large to manage easily, so perhaps consider sharing a piece of your garden and the work too with a neighbour or friend and grow some vegetables together.

Incredible edible

Those who don’t have access to any growing space should know that we have a fantastic community vegetable garden, Incredible Edible, on Bradley Road. The garden is run by a few dedicated and hardworking volunteers who welcome you to pick what you NEED. Incredible Edible is a national initiative which encourages individuals and groups to use unwanted land and share space to grow vegetables and share the produce with others.  

If you are interested in helping out as a volunteer at Bradley Road community garden then get in touch via the Warminster Incredible Edible Facebook page.

We have come to expect all year round availability of a wide range of exotic produce from around the world but that perhaps we should stop and take the time to think more carefully about where our fresh produce comes from? Obviously it is not possible to produce all we need here in the UK but we could try to limit what we buy by aiming to eat as much as we can that is in season and also eat vegetables and fruit that is grown closer to home.

The sustainability issues surrounding all year round access to fresh fruit and vegetables from abroad or out of season, are many; air and sea freight transportation, heating of greenhouses, refrigeration for storage, farming practices including; land clearance, use of pesticides, excessive water usage and conditions for workers. The production and disposal of food packaging is a huge cost to the environment and the over packaging of food also means that we often buy more than we need with the result that large amounts of food are wasted unnecessarily.

Sarah says, that even after sharing produce with friends and neighbours, freezing, drying, pickling and storing what she needs from the allotment, there is often excess left over. There must be lots of others in the same situation.  

Many people leave unwanted vegetables and fruit on their drives or doorsteps for people to take. During lockdown Sarah Coleman, (a different Sarah) has used the time to set up a successful plant, seed and produce stall on Brook Street under the Community Action Group umbrella. Here, you can take along anything spare to offer for others to take for free.  Anyone can take what they like but as with the Incredible Edible garden, people are asked to only take what they need.

Olio App for spare food

If you have spare food of any sort you might also like to have a look at the Olio App. This app is a way for businesses and the public to list any unwanted food of any type, (fresh, tins, dairy, drinks)  for people to collect. Sign up to let someone make use of what you don’t want.

Sarah Walters