One of the things we hope and try to do at Cordwainers is to encourage and support other community growing spaces, so it was a pleasure to help in a small way a newly-revived garden down the road from us. A handful of young residents have been turning up every week to make the garden a welcoming as well as productive place for other people local to the Frampton Park Estate. We put up a few social media posts, provided sausages, seeds and plants and hoped somebody would turn up. Elsdale made amazing cakes, tea and a borrowed a barbecue from a cycling club – as well as supplying an eagerness and commitment to the cause: to get people growing together. Stephanie actually grabbed people off the street but others came voluntarily. What was so impressive in a small but powerful way was that these actions – not huge in themselves (baking, talking, posting, shopping, sowing) – did bring neighbours together, to eat, grow and talk. This is simply what community gardens do. I certainly left feeling better: I belonged somewhere, I’d talked to neighbours I hadn’t met before, I got my hands dirty, ate and drank nice things, sparked new ideas for new connections and projects and growing and tea-drinking.
And there should be more of this going on. So find a patch of ground, find your neighbours and grow.