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Growing & Composting Working Group – Meeting Minutes – Jan 2024

Date: 31st Jan 2024

Location: Regather

The meeting centred on an open forum to share new (or not so new!) ideas that Sheffield’s Food Growing & Composting community are working on or would like to see happen in 2024. We started with a brief creative writing exercise to think about the change we would like to see in Sheffield this year, before hearing about a number of new or ongoing ideas. These included:

Sheffield Urban Community Well-being Garden: Brian & Jo from Percy Street CIC shared the story of their community herb garden at Alder Bar in Neepsend, which provides Food Works Upperthorpe cafe with fresh herbs. Their new proposal for a ‘potager’ style garden (including veg, fruit, flowers and herbs) would require a plot of around 3 acres. This could be a disused green space, or something more marginal or challenging to develop. The garden would be community owned and fully open, accessible and inclusive. 

Contact Brian George to be included on a mailing list for updates about the project: brian@percystreetcic.com

Expansion of Lend & Tend network: Lenka & Mark shared their plans to expand the nationwide Lend & Tend network, with an initial focus on Sheffield. They will develop an app to match up those looking for land on which to grow with those who have garden space to spare. The approach could potentially also be used to make small underutilised pieces of land (such as ransom strips) available for community growers. Education and support will also be integrated into the service to encourage nature-friendly growing, and to support the relationship between lender and tender. 

Other updates, ideas and suggestions

  • Food Works Plug plants: Maddy from Food Works outlined their plans for a pilot community seedling share project based in growing space at Heeley City Farm. The seedlings grown in the project will be available for growing projects around the city and will include both local varieties and climate resilient varieties.
  • Heeley City Farm: Sarah and Julie shared positive news from Heeley City Farms and explained that they are generating very high quality compost but would like to scale up their efforts. Jane from Green Estate and Jade both offered to provide support. They also raised challenges around horticultural training. 
  • Six Inches of Soil: Angela raised the idea of hosting a film screening in Sheffield. Brian suggested Kelham Island Film club. Film Unit (TUoS) and the Void (Hallam) are also possibilities. Six Inches of Soil are not currently taking new offers to host screenings, but one to keep an eye on for the future. 

We closed the meeting by revisiting key aims from the Local Food Action Plan, asking what has happened, what should come next, and what (and who) are missing.

Growing and Composting Working Group Meet january 2024

Growing & Composting