‘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. Join our mailing list for occasional updates on what we’re up to. 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 to:
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).
You can help support us by donating here:
What’s Coming Up…
Our News and Events
Join our mailing list for occasional updates on news and events.
- Autumn in the Garden: Free online event with local food-growing experts
Grow Community Sopwell presents: Autumn is here, never fear! An event to find out what you need to do in your garden right now.
Come and join us for this friendly Grow Community – Sopwell online event to explore what we need to do in our Autumn gardens.
- Do you grow your own food – fruit, herbs, vegetables at home?
- Wondering what you should be doing in the garden now that Autumn is here?
- Listen to the advice from our local food gardeners – and submit your questions in advance, and on the day.
Once registered, we will send Zoom link details to you on Saturday 23rd.
Amanda has always loved being outside surrounded by plants. Although she learned much of her gardening from her green fingered grandmother, Amanda studied for an RHS qualification in Horticulture before embarking on her professional gardening career 20 years ago.
She’s added to her qualifications with a garden design course at Capel Manor and she currently works as a gardener in St. Albans.
One-time allotmenteer, she now grows fruit and veg in her own garden and loves sharing gardening tips on her radio show, Environment Matters on Radio Verulam.
Sabrina, a Sopwell resident, is an experienced food grower, working at a Watford college helping a group of students tend to a plot of land, growing fruit, flowers, and vegetables, delivering both group and one-to-one training. Her current interest is in food growing with a focus on eco-nutrition, an idea she developed through her MA research, growing for nutrients rather than seeking them far and wide.
16 years ago, after tending to roses and jasmine in a shared garden, with a few tomatoes, rocket, mint, and rosemary, she decided to study nutrition at Westminster University. Deeper questioning about what ‘organic’ really meant led to a focus on local and seasonal eating, to embrace food with higher nutrition values.
As a volunteer on a permaculture site for two years, Sabrina learned permaculture principles on food growing and composting. She studied Horticulture at OrganicLea, then volunteered at FoodSmiles Community Supported Agriculture project in Harpenden. Nowadays Sabrina grows vegetables both on a shared allotment and in her home garden, together with her young family. She grows an increasing amount of medicinal flowers and fruit.
- Grow Community – Sopwell AGM Minutes 2021
Thank you to everyone who attended Grow Community – Sopwell’s first Annual General Meeting. There was fantastic cake, great conversation and enthusiastic people!
Re-elected to the Committee was Chair Kate Swindells, along with Gail Jackson, Jo Cooney and Lee Wood. In addition, newly elected this year were Alison Shipperlee and Sonya Jefferson, bringing the Committee up to six members; welcome aboard!
Here’s looking forward to another great year!
- Grow Community – Sopwell AGM: Tuesday 28th September 2021 at St Julian’s
Grow Community – Sopwell invites you to our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 28th September 2021 at St Julian’s Hall, Abbots Avenue, AL1 2HY from 7pm.
We’ll be presenting highlights of our Annual Report, summarising the amazing journey that we have made so far and what we are planning for the next 12 months. There will also be a spot of Communi-Tea!
Thank you for all you do, and we look forward to seeing you there.
- Grow Community – Sopwell: updated policies
As our group grows bigger, we’ve taken the opportunity to review and update our policies. You can read and download our latest documents via our Facebook Group here.
- CANCELLED: Communi-Tea 20th July
Sorry folks, due to forecast bad weather, Communi-Tea is cancelled this evening. See you at the next one.
- Open Food Gardens: Come And Visit This Sunday
Find out more about Grow Community – Sopwell’s community garden and our other projects at our Open Food Gardens event 10.30am to 12.30pm this Sunday morning (11th July). See what we’ve achieved so far and what are plans are. There will be cake!
Find us at the end of Berners Drive, next to the railway crossing and play area.
Please walk, cycle or use public transport if you are able to.
Find out more about Sustainable St Albans’ Open Food Gardens event here.
Our first drop-in Communi-Tea is Tuesday 15th June 7-8.30pm.
You are all warmly welcomed to drop-in to the Berners Drive Community Garden for Communi-Tea! Come and have a cuppa and a chat, and let us show you round, answer your #growyourownfood and wildlife gardening questions, meet new folks and old friends.
You are also welcome to bring a bit of rainwater for the veg beds if you can!
We’re hosting Communi-Tea on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month in summer between 7pm and 8.30pm.
Please adhere to social distancing until guidance is updated.
Bring your own cuppa.
Strictly no alcohol.
We are limited to 30 on the site at the moment.
- Pop-up Bank Holiday Seedling Stalls: Find Your Nearest
Our bank holiday weekend pop-up seedlings stalls are a last minute idea for SustFest21! Check out this map to find your nearest one, and go over to grab whatever you’d like to have a go at growing – from Friday afternoon till Monday.
- Grow Community – Sopwell Family Trail
Grow Community – Sopwell have published a Trail taking in some of Sopwell’s green spaces, wildlife friendly havens and community gardens. Originally launched as part of the St Albans Sustainability Festival 2021, the Trail is now available to download on an on-going basis. Use our map to find the Blue Hearts and collect clues along the way. Download your leaflet with more information and a copy of the map here!
- Community Garden Opening on 16th May: Planting Slots Open For Booking!
We’re finally there! Grow Community – Sopwell are excited to announce the opening of the Community Garden on Sunday 16th May 2021.
Work has already been taking place at the site to level the ground, ready for the raised beds. These will then be filled with topsoil and compost ready for the main event.
What will be happening on the Sunday? We have opened a number of managed 15-minute time slots, where you can sign up to come along and plant one of the first batches of seedlings in the beds. To avoid queueing, you can sign up to plant a seedling here:
Cupcakes and refreshments will be available.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Note: Please note that the community launch day is Sunday 16th May. We apologize that in the SRA newsletter we have made an error and had put 17th May.