Setting Up A Community Food Growing Project

By Sam Williams

In this Article...

A short guide on some top tips and key focus points for when setting up a community food growing project in your local area.

Now, more than ever, in this consumerist world we live in, we need to learn to become producers again. The current system is broken and the world around us has gone wrong.

Now is a pivotal point in history and a great time to set up a community food growing project.

We need to learn to produce our own food, regain lost skills and become less reliant on others. We need less (bad) chemicals, less (importing) travel miles, less instant expectations and more seasonal and local connections and by growing our own food, we create less negative impacts on the world around us.

If we can relearn to live in tune with nature and nurture our soils (and souls), we lock in carbon, create a diverse ecosystem for beneficial insects and creatures and produce nutrient dense food, which is vital for the health and well-being of humans, resulting in healthy people.

The many benefits to the community are endless, from getting our hands in the soil, which is a natural antidepressant, enjoying the fresh air, exercising, keeping fit, maintaining our mental health and creating community bonds and friendships.

Firstly, you need to access some land. This could be in the form of a local allotment, a big back garden or if you’re lucky someone might be able to let you use a piece of their land. If not, then everyone can grow something in their gardens and share and swap crops with each other.

Secondly, you need a community of friends. A local stand in the park group, a yoga club friendship group, a church friendship group, the local school mums or any group of people who have formed a friendship together. Friendship and community is key to being successful.

Within this group it is advisable to have 1 or 2 main people with some growing knowledge. If someone can guide and steer the project then the rest are able to help out in some way. Anyone can garden, no matter their level of competence, there’s a job for everyone. Anybody can weed or water with guidance from a knowledgeable other. As they say ‘team work makes the dream work’.

You need a plot layout or plan to work out your growing space, a seed sowing guide and a growing calendar of the gardening year. There are some great books out there, lots of information online and plenty of “celebrity” gardeners/growers on social media who will guide and encourage you to grow your own food. So there really is no excuse and now is the perfect time to get started.

My top tips would be to grow what you enjoy eating, look to nature for guidance and inspiration and just try it and see. There is no exact science to growing your own food. There are never the same set of weather variables each year, so sometimes there are different outcomes. But with a bit of hard work and determination, success can be achieved and you will soon be eating a plate full of your own hard work. There’s nothing more satisfying than planting a tiny seed and watching it grow and harvesting, cooking and eating the fruits of your labour. You will learn through mistakes and learn to garden through instinct. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

If I can inspire and encourage you to grow your own food, then together we can create a new world and make it a better place.

If you’d like to message me for advice or to answer any questions, please find me on Instagram @hoe_and_grow or email me on

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