Social Farms and Gardens are planning to make fruit trees and bushes available over the winter of 2020, along with flower bulbs and native hedging, for groups to distribute to their neighbours, to encourage growing at home, and through encouraging people to take cuttings to expand into a forest across your neighbourhood. We’d like to target people who are first time growers, or don’t have much experience of growing, and would love to hear your ideas on how to do that.
This is a new initiative that has arisen out of the COVID19 crisis and the revelation of both the food insecurity that exists within our communities, and the great desire and capacity of people to share what they produce with their neighbours.
The idea of the fruit forest is to provide your community with a range of fruit bushes trees herbs and bulbs that will not only produce food for you, your family, your neighbours and local wildlife on an ongoing basis, but will be a living resource for propagation and distribution of cuttings, offsets and sets for years to come – greening your neighbourhood and providing true resilience against the stormy times ahead.
They would envisage the people who accept these plants as community guardians of that variety, accepting to grow it on and join in propagating fresh plants yearly so that in time the neighbourhood will be producing a valuable surplus for distribution or community processing.
There are lots of opportunities for artistic and creative events around harvest and propagation time, we would love to hear how you incorporate these into your local fruit forest!
If your community group would like to participate, and would be willing to advertise, risk assess, distribute the plants, and carry out any follow up to make sure people are supported to grow and propagate we want to hear from you!
They will include a fuel allowance for each group, and depending on which kind of plant, we will also make an allowance for compost/soil improver/ stakes. Distribution will take place in November 2020. They’ll let you know if you are successful by the first week in October.