ECLP and Grow Cardiff are working together to make the garden a thriving Eco-centre for Rumney.
The days may be dark but spring time is just around the corner. It’s often during these dark winter days that the bright blooms of spring are planted.
Our community garden group Rumney Seedlings meet every Wednesday 2.30pm – 4.00pm to ensure that when spring comes the garden will be in full flourish for all the community to enjoy.
It’s not just about flowers though as Mark Seed, a garden tutor from Grow Cardiff, tells us…
What is Grow Cardiff?
We are a registered charity that has been set up to support communities to grow their own food and enable them to choose healthier lifestyles through gardening and volunteering.
Gardening and growing your own food is a proven therapeutic and preventative measure for those who are affected by mental health issues.
We want to develop partnerships with GP’s, schools and more, to help spread the word about the benefits of community food.
When you create a sense of connection between the people in communities and the food they eat, you make sustainable living and healthy lifestyles accessible for everyone.
Who else do you work with?
Apart from you (ECLP Communities First) we work closely with Buglife – A charity that protects invertebrates, like bees. We created a bug hotel with them.
We have also done some great workshops with RSPB looking at local birds.
What progress have you made with the garden?
We are trying to make the Rumney Seedlings Garden part of an established Eco-system for Rumney, where the wildlife and insects can find a home and the people can plant and eat their own food.
At the moment we have an active vegetable and salad crop which we harvest regularly, we are about to plant winter spinach and lettuce.
We are doing some city-wide east/west partnership work with the Dusty Shed in Ely who are making planters for us.
We also had Happy Apples Day where local families planted apple trees which will produce fruit for the community. It was really great to see the children and adults all working together creating a legacy for their community.
We have had over 100 volunteers help out so far. We are building a strong community.
This is all part of national pollination programme to stop the decline in pollinators like bees which are essential for our plants and natural Eco-systems to survive – It’s really important work.
Plans for the future
The overall vision for the garden is to make it truly sustainable for the people of the area. For the people of Rumney to take control.
We want the garden to be a source of community food which can be shared and donated to local community groups.
It’s about creating a natural cycle so that eventually the garden will nurse its own crops and produce our own seedlings. The Riverside Project currently nurses all our plants but we are working towards a sustainable cycle at the Hub.
The key is to keep the project small and manageable
What do you need?
We need a leader.
The Garden Leader would take on the development of the gardens around Rumney Hub, and lead a small team of volunteers. S/he will be supported initially by the Grow Cardiff Tutor up till mid-March. It a great opportunity to make a difference in your community.
If this sounds like something you could do, get in contact.
Ideally, someone local who can take over with support from ECLP and Grow Cardiff to take on the role of leader.
Plans for the future
We already have an amazing core group of volunteers who keep the garden ticking over but we want to get more families on board. It’s a great activity to do together.
You get fit, learn about where your food comes from and make some great friends, all with the added bonus of earning Time Credits.
Our immediate plans include putting up a poly-tunnel and building a new shed. We are running out of space!
We also want to build more local partnerships, we have chatted with Rumney Forum about supplying fruit and veg for their café when it opens in the Old Library and getting involved with their library of things project ‘Benthyg’.
Are looking for any particular skills?
Yes and No!
Everyone is welcome at Rumney seedlings – no experience necessary. Everything is fully accessible.
We do however need people with technical skills like horticulture or woodwork.
Lastly, why should people get involved with Rumney seedlings?
So many reasons which I’ve already touched upon. Gardening and volunteering are amazing for your health. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and burn calories! Win/Win!
It’s also about the creating a true community space where people can meet new friends and gather together. All the while having a real impact on the environment around them.
So there we have it.
Rumney Seedlings meets every Wednesday 2 – 4.30pm. You can just drop in or if you’d prefer to have a chat with someone first you can call 02920 778128 or send us an email.