Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

One Seed Forward is a volunteer run community growing initiative that was created in December 2016 to encourage individuals, schools and community groups to grow their own herbs, fruit and vegetables. We do this by giving seeds, plants and seed potatoes away for free and provide support and advice on how to grow them through our website and by working with the various schools and groups. We do want everyone to feel involved in our community, so in the case of potatoes we ask that for every seed potato we give away, people give some back from their crop. We ask that groups hold community eating events, demonstrating different ways to cook the potatoes but especially having people eat together in big dining table events. We also ask individuals and families who have grown produce and have some spare to share them with friends, families or neighbours. We further suggest that if they have more spare that these are donated to local foodbanks so that those needing a bit of help can get some fresh locally grown produce. We have found that the primary schools that we have donated to previously are particularly keen on sharing, with produce having been donated to sheltered housing complexes, vulnerable adult groups and many more worthwhile causes.

How would this funding have an impact on our community? There has been a great deal of interest in our project and within a year and a half of us starting we have given away over 1,000kg of free seed potatoes to various schools, community groups and individuals. We also gave away bags to grow them in. Additionally we have given away 50,000 spring onion seeds and various fruit bushes and plants as well as hundreds of packets of vegetable and herb seeds. It is estimated that solely as a result of our community initiative, over 10,000kg of fresh produce has been grown in Aberdeen City and Shire in the last two years. We made donations to 46 schools, 21 groups and 550 individuals and families in the area last year alone.

We would like to do this again for the next growing season, but want to extend the variety of vegetables that people can grow by giving away other vegetable seeds for people to try. There was an excess in demand v supply for our items this year, so the funding would allow us to reach more people in the community and also encourage those who grew with us before to try growing other vegetables. As well as the fun of engaging people of all ages to grow their own food, it has lots of health benefits as well as reducing the carbon footprint through a reduction in food miles. We saw that this year children who grew their own vegetables in school gardens or growbags were keen to eat them and share the produce amongst their friends, as well as taking them home to their families. It also got children outside in the fresh air, learning about plants and getting lots of exercise with digging, watering and weeding.

We hope that this becomes a starting point for people to keep on growing their own food, and as a consequence improve their diet by eating more vegetables. All monies we receive goes towards purchasing plants and seeds and providing information on how to grow them.

One Seed Forward

We love the engagement that this project has had with all ages in our community, and how people share their experiences of growing together as groups and families around the table, in community growing spaces or online through our social media pages and website.

Location: Aberdeen