by Mary Stevens
This weekend marks the start of Big Dig Week, during which everyone is encouraged to get their hands grubby growing food with neighbours. Urban community food projects are growing, particularly in Brighton and Hove where we now have over 60. In many cases patches of unattractive derelict land have been turned into pretty and productive plots. One of these, London Road Station Community Garden (LRSP), was selected for the launch of the Big Dig yesterday.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas dodged showers to help mulch native fruit trees in the garden, which she helped plant last spring, and Mayor Bill Randall lent a hand.
Elspeth Broady, Lead Volunteer at LRSP said: “Local volunteers are growing tasty seasonal produce here and composting their kitchen waste. There’s a wonderful supportive network out there for community growing.”
This year the volunteers at LRSP are working on herb planters planned to allow seasoned travellers to pick their own flavourings on the way home.
From Portslade to Bevendean, over 20 community gardens across the city are joining in the Big Dig to get people growing. These range from well established projects like the Moulsecomb Forest Garden, which involves schools, adults and people with learning disabilities in outdoor work, to the inner city One Brighton Community Garden, launched yesterday (Saturday).
Food growing and composting projects in the area are supported by Harvest Brighton and Hove, who are promoting the Big Dig. Jo Glazebrook, co-ordinator for Harvest said: “Community gardening is the perfect antedote to long allotment waiting lists and it’s a great way for people to learn how to grow food and escape city living. Big Dig Week is jam packed with activities in every corner of the city and we’re really excited to see how many seeds we can plant, to help make Brighton & Hove the most edible place in the UK.”
Full story of the Big Dig launch here
The Big Dig continues throughout the week – find out where you can join in here