About

Food Communities is a social enterprise that promotes and facilitates the growing and sharing of truly local, non-packaged, organic food by the community for the community.

ABOUT

Food Communities provides free support to help neighbourhood groups of any size grow, preserve, store and cook more of their own food and to connect with more like-minded neighbours via our network of Facebook groups and community food gardens. Members share food, seeds, plants, tools, materials, knowledge and skills and are encouraged to work as a team with a compassionate and coordinated system to maximise the potential of local gardens, allotments and waste land, to help more people start growing, and to get more fresh food to people in need. The food we champion, non-packaged food with the lowest possible food miles, grown in harmony with nature, is potentially the freshest, tastiest, healthiest, most eco-friendly and most economical and our goal is to make it the norm. Food Community groups are completely free. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain.

GROUPS

There is a network of Food Community Facebook groups. PLEASE JOIN OUR MAIN GROUP where members share tips and information on everything related to growing, storing and cooking vegetables, fruit and herbs and to improving the efficiency of our local Food Community groups. PLEASE ALSO JOIN YOUR LOCAL GROUP to connect with like-minded neighbours and share food, seeds, plants, tools, materials, knowledge and skills.

Apologies if you are not a Facebook user. We choose to use Facebook Groups because they are quick, easy and free with lots of great facilities. So many people do use Facebook and Facebook Groups and we want to reach out to as many people as possible. Even if you don’t want to use Facebook for anything else you could still consider setting up a profile and just join our groups.

GARDENS

We have created various shared FOOD GARDENS on members’ land, grown lots of wonderful organic fruit, vegetables and herbs, planted hundreds of fruit and nut trees, and grown many new edible trees and bushes from seeds and cuttings without requiring any public funding or grants. We have been permitted to use land for free and all seeds, plants, tools and materials have been donated, sourced or grown for free. People of all ages use the gardens to grow food which they share with the garden owner and have built greenhouses, cold frames, compost bins, raised beds and planters. From disused patches of land, the community now has beautiful and productive social spaces. Our group has shown that we can be trusted to share land and that we have the ingenuity to make great things happen from nothing for nothing. This is a win win for growers and land owners alike. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH if you would like to get involved with a local food garden or if you would like help to set up a new food garden in your community. PLEASE ALSO GET IN TOUCH if you are a landowner who is interested in one of our groups growing food on your land in return for free upkeep and free produce. We also help promote the community gardens of other community groups and collaborate with food banks and councils.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

JOIN OUR MAIN FACEBOOK GROUP where members share ideas, advice and information on everything related to growing, storing and cooking vegetables, fruit and herbs and to improving the efficiency of our local Food Community groups.

• JOIN YOUR LOCAL GROUP to connect with like-minded neighbours and share food, seeds, plants, tools, materials, knowledge and skills.

GET IN TOUCH if there isn’t already a Food Community group in your local area and we will look to starting one for you.

GET IN TOUCH if you fancy volunteering to help administer and coordinate your local group. Every local Food Community receives the support of the main group and we share ideas and information to consistently grow and share better and to attract more members. As a local coordinator you can be as involved as you wish. There is no pressure to do any more than you have time for, but we welcome all initiative and encourage anyone with the passion to help steer Food Communities.

• All proficient food growers are encouraged to share their expertise in the FACEBOOK GROUPS to help other members who are new to growing. You are also invited to write blog posts.

• Help grow and harvest food in a local FOOD GARDEN and consider donating seeds, seedlings, cuttings, plants, pots, compost, manure, pots, tools, materials, etc.

• BECOME A SUPPORTER of our cause by contributing a regular monthly payment.

WHY?

The vast majority of people in the UK rarely eat locally grown food and the vast majority of home gardens are not used for growing food. As a society we urgently need to eradicate food poverty and reduce food miles and plastic packaging and we can do this if we prioritise local food and better manage our time and resources. We have the skills, materials and the space to do it. But more of us need to get stuck in if eating truly local food is going to become the norm again. Food Communities aims to provide the necessary encouragement, support and infrastructure to facilitate this.

Increased amateur food growing is essential to a rapidly rising population. There is a lot of pressure on farmers to feed lots of people, whilst also meeting environmental responsibilities to tackle soil degradation, biodiversity loss, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. If our cities, towns and villages were growing, preserving, storing and swapping more of our own fruit, vegetables and herbs from our own gardens, allotments and waste land we would take much of the strain off our farmers and the environment.

If neighbours share knowledge, time and resources, make better use of our land and work together efficiently with lots of people contributing in whatever way they can, we can be eating the freshest, tastiest, healthiest, most eco-friendly, non-packaged, truly local food and saving money. Many people do not have the time or the knowledge to grow their own food and that is why a collaborative, compassionate and coordinated system is vital. When you know what you are doing it is not difficult or expensive to grow your own food. But it does require organisation and time. We encourage neighbours to work as a team to grow more fruit, vegetables and herbs, to help neighbours who are new to food growing, and to seek out new spaces in their community that can be shared to grow.

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