‘Grow Community – Sopwell‘ is a local group of volunteers in Sopwell ward, St Albans, supporting people to grow their own food at home and in community spaces. We enjoy a bit of cooking along the way – and love to involve all ages including children – in #GrowYourOwn. We enjoy putting on events about growing food and looking after our local community spaces. See more about what we do below:
1. Promote the benefits of sustainable, localised food production.
2. Promote the benefit of reduced food waste.
3. Encourage and enable local residents to grow their own food at
home and in community spaces, reduce food waste, share surplus food
in the community and with local charity groups.
4. Promote wildlife conservation and restoration projects and
encourage local residents to participate in these projects.
5. Connect ongoing initiatives and bring the community together
through activities related to the above aims (e.g. growing and preserving
food, building infrastructure, competitions, providing food for local
events, wildlife events).
What’s Coming Up…
- Donate your produce to the local Foodbank
The Foodbank donations box is now out at the stall on Leyland Avenue every Saturday until Tuesday.
Please consider popping a little something from your harvests in to help ensure Sopwell residents in need get some fresh produce each week.
There are clean punnets and hand sanitiser available.
Located on a driveway at the end of Leyland Avenue.
Please follow coronavirus guidelines and walk/cycle if you are able to.
- National recognition for Grow Community – Sopwell’s Chair
We are incredibly proud to announce that Kate Swindells, the driving force behind Grow Community – Sopwell, has been included in the Independent newspaper’s Happy List 2020. The list celebrates people doing remarkable things to unite communities during the pandemic. Kate was secretly nominated by a local Sopwell resident for “all [she’s] done for so many of us in Sopwell, especially during Lockdown, and for what [she] will no doubt continue to do in the future”. We are so lucky to have someone of her heart, vision and determination to inspire the community. Well done Kate!
@independent #happylist2020 @GrowSopwell
Find out more here.
- Community garden consultation: Have your say!
We’re so happy that finally the Council consultation has begun. Residents are invited to have their say on where best to locate our community garden, and any other views you have.
Please, please, please spare five minutes to complete the short survey and let us know your thoughts.
We want this to be a positive community project in Sopwell, and will listen carefully to all views.
The survey and detailed information about the project can be found on the Council’s Open Consultations webpage:
The garden will be on St Albans City and District Council land, and is funded by a community grant.
For more information or any comments/questions contact:
Kate Swindells (Chair) at GrowSopwell@gmail.com
Peggy Sharpe, SADC Community Engagement Project Officer. Preferably by email: Peggy.Sharp@stalbans.gov.uk or telephone: 01727 819340
- Abbots Avenue West planters
The first stage of rejuvenating the Abbots Avenue planters kick-started in late May. A bit tricky with social distancing in mind so the core team took turns to weed, trim, dig and clean the beds.
We’re looking to repaint the planters soon, after consultation with local residents and Mandeville school, whose students painted the images on them quite a few years ago now.
We are slowly but surely introducing wonderful plants for the whole community to enjoy with an abundance of sage and oregano already on offer. We’ve added wild flowers for the local wildlife too! Just waiting for some promised compost before we do any more planting.
If you’d like to be added to the watering rota for occasional watering duties, please join this WhatsApp group:
- Thanks to our experts at Food Garden Question Time
On Thursday 18th June 2020, the Grow Community – Sopwell hosted an online event with panel of three experienced local gardeners: Michelle, Amanda and Ian. They answered a range of questions from local growers on topics including the best fruit trees for patio pots, how to grow asparagus and cauliflowers, and how best to compost. Some fascinating insights into growing your own fruit and veg for people to take away and use in their own gardens and allotments. Thank you to our panellists for their time and expertise!
- April-June 2020 Seed and seedling giveaway
We’ve got a selection of edible and wildlife-friendly seeds and seedlings available to giveaway, and always appreciate donations (please label them!)
Seeds: Pumpkins and sunflowers
Seedlings: Pumpkins, sunflowers, French beans, carrots, leeks, lettuces, redcurrant, raspberries, cabbage, chives, tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, cucumber, runner beans, courgette.
Also still some sunflower seeds left for The Great St Albans Sunflower Challenge.
Go on, give it a grow. #GrowTogether
- Come along and collect after 10 am and before 8pm, every day.
- End of Leyland Avenue – walk right down to the cul de sac end.
- Please follow coronavirus guidelines.
- Check whether your selected seedling needs to be protected from frost.
In March 2020, #GrowTogether The Grow Community wants to support you to grow at home. We will be putting out a tray with free compost and seed packets for people to take away and plant at home. There’ll be an information leaflet too. We can then offer you lots of advice, and support you growing at home through our online channels.
Follow our step-by-step guides here.
Please be considerate and only take one set per family. And please stay safe, practice social distancing and wash your hands.
- March Community Event
Our 7th March 2020 event started with a fantastic talk by Nadia from Wilderhood Watch. The Community made seed bombs, planted up pots and had refreshments, including some very topical hedgehog cupcakes (thanks Sallyann).
- Love Birds Launch Event
A great turn out to our Community’s Love birds! launch event on 1st February 2020. Big thanks to the Ver Valley Society, who led on making the bird boxes that have now been put up along the River Ver. Lots of fun was had making seed cakes and sowing sunflowers.