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Community garden in Devon, UK

  • Subject: [cg] Community garden in Devon, UK
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 20:05:20 -0800 (PST)

North Devon Gazette, Devon, UK
01 February 2006

Community garden will help growth in jobs

A community garden is being planned to help North
Devon people get back to work.

Bideford Town Council has provided the
Barnstaple-based Jigsaw charity with unused allotment
land at East-the-Water, where it plans to create the
region's first community vegetable plot.

But first it is calling on local people to come
forward with their ideas for the project.

Two days of public consultation will take place at the
Pollyfield Centre, which overlooks the site, on
February 10 and 11.

The days will also feature a variety of events such as
DJ workshops, family activities, a barbecue and a
scarecrow competition for primary and secondary
children and over-16s.

Jigsaw, initially a furniture project, has for more
than 20 years offered skills training in furniture
restoration, upholstery and picture framing to
marginalised groups such as youth offenders, those
recovering from substance abuse and people with
learning difficulties and mental illness.

The scheme has also had a green element by bringing
new life to redundant furniture.

Now it hopes to go even greener and to be able to
accommodate more trainees.

"Many people find growing plants and vegetables
therapeutic," said manager Kim Edwards. "We are
looking at raising crops organically to provide
another source of locally-grown food."

Harvests could be distributed in a box scheme, sold at
farmers' markets or even into shops, she said. Workers
might also be offered the opportunity to gain
horticultural qualifications. And the innovative
scheme could also help people on incapacity benefit,
putting North Devon one step ahead of Government moves
to help claimants back into employment.

Kim and Jigsaw co-ordinator Neal Moss have visited
similar enterprises elsewhere in the country and are
convinced the idea at East-the-Water is viable.

"Apart from growing vegetables, the site could include
a sensory garden or even a play area," said Kim. "It
is a fantastic opportunity for everyone. That is why
it is important for us to know what local people

The idea has already gained the backing of the famous
Eden Project in Cornwall.

"Jigsaw came to Eden for a tour and we offered what
advice we could," said an Eden spokesman. "We wish
them every success for what seems a very worthy project.

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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