WinACC's meeting on 5 April 2014 was an inspiring and entertaining talk by Mary Clear, one of the founder members of the internationally recognised Incredible Edible. This  community food growing project in Todmorden in Yorkshire has inspired similar projects around the world. 

“It’s much easier to be a protester than to take action yourself”, Mary told the gripped audience. Clearly a human dynamo, Mary and her friends created raised beds and grow vegetables outside the Job Centre, police station, fire station, railway station, care homes and schools. Now, shops have joined in with boxes outside the doors – for example, the butcher grows parley and thyme, and the hairdresser rosemary. 

Mary’s closing message was "Using kindness, we can build a better future".

Enthusiastic members of the audience pledged themselves to make small acts of kindness, such as looking for green spaces in their village where they could plant fruit trees, and growing vegetables on spare land at work or near their homes.

Suggestions for action included:

  1. Choose a place to plant and give it a go! Some examples culd be:
    1. Abbey Gardens – and link to Hugh Fearnley-W and new River Café.
    2. Station – approach SW Trains and ask to adopt it; have planters for commuters to pick their own basil.
    3. Silver Hill development - ask for growing boxes for community veg growing. 
  2. Copy Fulflood Greening Group’s Fruits of Fulflood project in other places eg Kings Worthy - collecting spare fruit, donating it to people without fresh fruit such as the night shelter, making jam and pickles.
  3. Plant apple trees in schools.

Sarah Gooding, the convenor of WinACC’s food group, would be delighted if anyone interested in getting Winchester growing could contact her at food@winacc.org.uk or by going to the WinACC website winacc.org.uk.

See press release.

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