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New multimedia guide to get Wales growing launched by Deputy Minister for Farming and Food

A new guide setting out a dozen steps to successful community growing was launched by Rebecca Evans AM, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff on Wednesday 23rd September.

The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens Community Growing Resource Pack is designed to support the increasing number of community gardens, city farms and other growing spaces in Wales and covers everything from starting a group to raising funds, finding land, recruiting volunteers and maintaining a project long-term.

The event, hosted by Labour AM for Cardiff Central Jenny Rathbone at the National Assembly Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, featured exhibitions from community growing projects from around Wales and a lunch made with produce grown by Riverside Market Garden, a community food social enterprise based near Cowbridge. Minister for Health Mark Drakeford and Minister for Natural Resources Carl Sargeant attended the event in support of the new resource pack.

The guidance has been produced by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG), a charity which supports people to set up growing projects that benefit their communities. The FCFCG programme in Wales, Tyfu Pobl (Growing People), has been running since 2011, working with more than 550 community growing project in that time.

There has been an explosion of interest in community growing in Wales in recent years as more and more people want to get outdoors and grow their own food, due to concerns over issues including food miles, climate change and healthy eating. The Community Growing Resource Pack provides comprehensive advice and guidance to people already engaged in community growing and those interested in getting started.

Accompanying the guide are a suite of films for each of the 12 steps featuring first-hand advice from successful community growing projects across Wales. These films are available to all on theFCFCG website and Youtube channel.

Community growing groups who exhibited at the launch included Swansea Community Farm, who brought along their chickens and ducks used to educate people in livestock care, Greenmeadow City Farm (Cwmbran), St Peters Community Garden (Cardiff), Grow Cardiff, Abergavenny Community Orchard, Cae Tân Community Supported Agriculture (Gower), Field Days Organic (Vale of Glamorgan) and Clynfyw Care Farm (Pembrokeshire).

Rebecca Evans AM, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food said:

“Growing your own food is not an easy task and this resource pack is a useful tool for people and communities to do just that.

“I am delighted that the Welsh Government, through our 2007-13 Rural Development Programme, was able to provide funding of £1.48 million towards the successful Tyfu Pobl project which helped fund this guide.

“I am sure it will be of great assistance to people who would like to start growing their own food but have no experience or idea how to begin.”

Emma Williams, FCFCG Wales Manager said:

“We’re very proud of this new Resource Pack which provides invaluable advice and guidance for both existing and potential community gardeners. Community growing is a very powerful movement that’s been proven to have hugely positive effects on both an individual’s and community’s health and wellbeing.

“Running a community growing project or setting one up from scratch can be a daunting task, but we hope this guide will give people the confidence to get growing and enjoy the benefits of being outdoors, socialising with your community and eating healthier food.”