The following is an initial concept for the food production section of a community garden.
KCC would like to encourage like minded people to form an independent Community Gardening Club to take forward a project to develop a community garden for Kingswells residents. The garden would consist of several components, one of which would produce food.
Please remember that the following article is only a concept at this time designed to spark community input and ideas.
Please let us know your views and suggestions using the forum or the feedback form below
The Ideas for the Food Production Section
To bring people interested in growing (more of) their own food together - from experienced growers and complete newbies - and to provide a garden space to do this in. This could either take the form of one collective growing space, or each person could have their own personal growing space within the garden, perhaps with shared areas for fruit trees/bushes, herbs and/or wildlife attracting plants etc...
Potential Site for the Garden
A potential site for the garden could be part of the land to the East of the School multi-sport pitches (see below, though exact size/boundary etc tbc). To the north, the existing trees/shrubs would be left as a biodiversity area (with, hopefully, the garden to the south offering some protection against litter blowing into these to the extent that it does at present), with the garden just covering the grassy area to the south of the site.
The location of the site is still under investigation; but some benefits of this site are
- South facing
- Bounded by well used path i.e. is easily visible/accessible
- Natural boundary of trees to the north/paths on other sides
- Close to the school, so easy for children to get involved
- Previously agricultural land?
Things that could feature in any such garden might include:
- A polytunnel for growing a large range of plants year round
- External beds for hardier crops, including raised beds at heights that are accessible for people with reduced mobility, and at lower heights for use by school children.
- An area of fruit trees/bushes
- A shared collection of gardening tools for use by anyone working in the garden
- A garden shed space for storing tools/materials etc
- Compost bins to compost on site waste
- Rainwater harvesting system to provide water
- Workshops on gardening/gardening related subjects
- Lots of happy people!
There are a large number of similar projects across Aberdeen City and Shire (and further afield) to draw inspiration from, and a number of organisations/networks that could potentially offer support (whether financial or otherwise).
Possible sources of inspiration include: Dyce Gardening Club/Community Orchard; Pitcaple Environmental Project/Pitscurry Project; Tarland Community Garden; and Nether Loriston Growers Association Community Allotments Project.
Further inspiration/ideas/support may be drawn from:
- Grow Your Own Scotland - seeks to create a single resource for grow your own & greenspace organisations
- Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) – provides a helpful advice pack on setting up a community garden
- Community Food and Health Scotland - includes information/links to other resources and funding opportunities (new round of funding expected to open in June 2017)
- National allotments society - supports groups providing allotments, including advice re funding and insurance (See also Scottish Society)
- It’s your neighbourhood - provides support for greening up local areas/
- Growing Together - information for community groups on becoming financially sustainable.
For an initial idea of funding/support that may be available, it may also be worth looking at: Woodland Trust (can provide free trees to community groups, including elderflower/sloe/crab apple); Dobbies Help Your Community Programme (donations of products, plants and equipment); B&Q Community Re-Use (donations of materials) Awards for All (grants of between £500 and £10,000); CSGN Development Fund (funding for community growing projects) and/or co-op community fund (Co-op scheme to support local projects). This list is of course far from exhaustive though, and further research into funding options will obviously be needed before taking this further.
Where do we start?!
If KCC set up an action group, this could look at the proposal/options in more detail, and then seek the community’s views on interest/site/models for a garden (ideally as part of wider consultations on other proposals for the area such as improvements to the park area/additional parking/a new community building, etc…).
Subject to feedback on this consultation, a stand-alone community garden group could then be set up with its own constitution/membership structure etc for purposes of securing funding/any necessary consents/lease of the agreed site etc, and then take things forward from there…