Start your own group

There are lots of reasons to set up your own community growing and cooking group in your neighbourhood or school. As well as being fun for families living in the area it’s a great way to strengthen community ties.

Families looking at a vegetable patch

Four reasons to set up your own group

1. Strengthen community ties

Bringing people together for events and activities based around things like food, cooking or growing is a fantastic way to help people get to know each other. People have been ‘breaking bread’ together for centuries and food is a great leveller, spanning different generations and interests.

2. Learn new skills

Engaging families, friends and neighbours in growing things offers them a new skill and a sense of achievement. It can be as simple as teaching a group how to plant a seed and watch it grow, but can give people something to keep them busy – and a shared hobby to share ideas about.

3. Promote healthy eating

Introducing people to new ingredients and recipes can help open their eyes to a whole range of possibilities for the kitchen. What’s more, getting kids engaged in growing their own vegetables and herbs can stimulate their interest in actually eating them.

4. Transform local spaces

Planting vegetables, flowers and herbs can really brighten up a space, whether it be a neglected plot of land, a roadside verge, a backyard or a school playground. Getting locals involved in tending what’s growing, or helping to transform it for a community event can start to unlock the potential of these spaces and get people interested in using.

How to set up your own group

We’ve produced a handbook to guide individuals through the process of starting up a new community growing group – covering everything from how to choose a space to meet and spread the word through to running a session with members. View the pdf handbook.

There’s nothing really for the kids where we live, so I thought it would get them interested in doing something that could benefit us.

Rhea Bennallack - Seeds, Soup and Sarnies participant