Food Adventure – Back to our roots

We used the Move More Eat Well grant to launch a growing programme aimed at people from African Caribbean, Asian, Black Welsh background where participants can learn to grow culturally relevant vegetables that are typically imported as well as their favourite European vegetables. The objective is to help people with the cost of living crises by giving them the skills to grow the vegetables that are typically imported (and therefor expensive). In addition, the objective is to engage the community with a practical activity that they can do to help mitigate climate change. In addition, all meals at our sessions are plant based. This is to encourage healthy eating and again “do something good for the planet”.

The launch in person workshop was in March. There is a WhatsApp Group where participants can learn and share with each other and this s supported by a horticultural expert. Each month throughout the growing season there will be a zoom session or in person session so that participants can learn and are supported at every stage of the growing season.

We held a launch event in March where participants gained an overview of what they need to consider and know for the whole growing season i.e. what vegetables can grow in their space, soil, sunlight, temperature, water, nutrients, weeds, pests. Half of the day was spent learning how to sow seeds in the propagators they were given. The Whatsapp Group was also initiated where participants could ask any questions they had about their seedlings and receive prompt assistance if needed. This is also a space where participants could simply share photos of their seedlings growing. We held a zoom session where participants could show their seedling trays and receive advice or share their delight. We held an in person session on 15 April where participants learned what they need to do in April and May. They brought in their seedlings and had a hands on session to pot on out of the seedling trays.

20 people have been supported by the project. In addition, the project gained the attention of the Sub Saharan Advisory Panel who have requested that we start a second cohort at the end of April as part of a project for health and wellbeing of black communities in Wales.

Here are some quotes from participants in our feedback form:

“I didn’t know there’s so many people in the community who are interested in gardening. I even met people I already knew there – we’d never talked about plants before and it’s great to discover this shared interest.”

“This project is so special and needed right now. I left the session feeling motivated to start this journey of growing my own food and it’s so much more fun with a group of people following the same journey. Thank you so much to Carol and Chris for their organisation and knowledge. I feel very grateful to be a part of this project.”

“Excited to gain growing experience in my own home”

“I’m so happy that I joined! Carol, Chris et al are fantastic facilitators! Just to say thank you very much for this initiative. Overall it very beneficial to us all.”

“I think the initiative is a fantastic idea.”