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Herb Plants

Sheffield Community Well-Being Garden 2024
 

We are going to create a new Urban Community Garden in Sheffield with a focus on wellbeing and community involvement.    The site might be an already cultivated area in need of restoration or a brownfield site needing remediation.    Site area will be in the region of 2 to 3 acres and will need to be accessible, or capable of being made accessible.

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Access to gardens, growing spaces and the natural environment increases well-being.

Some of us have known this for some time of course, but now it’s official.

We have many types of gardens and growing spaces in the UK, but we are proposing something new that combines the elements that contribute to well-being.

We want to achieve maximum 

 

ACCESS, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT and OWNERSHIP.

Everything should be edible for us or other visitors. 

Most of our indigenous plants do both.


 

 

Private Gardens

Our private gardens are a repository of horticultural skills, limited but important biodiversity, carbon reduction, and the joy of growing.

But – there is no general access to these spaces.   They are private.   The skills that exist there are not generally transferable.

Urban Parks

My early life was transformed by access to our wonderful urban parks – the green hearts of our cities.  But they are the product of a paternalistic Victorian form of local government.   Alongside advances in horticulture, it was decided that these green oases would be ‘good for us’.    And they are.

But – the community is not involved in their design, development or upkeep.   We have access but no agency.   Look but don’t touch.

Allotments

Urban allotments provide growers with the opportunity to produce their own food and experience the joy of doing it.   Many sites have turned into community spaces and the sector has moved slightly away from one that is populated exclusively by older white people.

They satisfy many of our thoughts on Community Gardening but are restricted by the necessary legislation that surrounds them.    They are not owned by The Community who cultivates them.

Meersbrook Allotments

 

The Pilot Project – PSCIC/Alder/FoodWorks Herb Garden

In 2023 we created the Herb Garden at Percy Street, designed, constructed, and maintained by the young people we support at the Workshop Sessions on Percy Street.

 

The horticultural focus is herb growing and the harvest is given free to FoodWorks for use in their cafes.

Decisions on the design of the garden, what to grow, care and cultivation and future developments are all made by the group.


 

The Herb Garden will be extended over 2024 to provide more opportunities, more free harvest, and more pleasure for those who visit.Our first crop in 2024



Our first crop in 2024






 

 

The Community Well-Being Garden 2024

We want to grow herbs, vegetables and indigenous plants in an environment where the community has freedom of access and agency over what is done.

There will be areas where groups can take ownership to grow what they wish and to harvest, prepare, cook and share their food.

Growing and cooking events and outlets will reinforce the well-being ethos.

Herbs represent an enormous group of plants used for culinary, medicinal, cosmetic and fragrance purposes.   We will welcome participation from those who are interested in developing uses for herbs and promoting their potential for enhancing well-being.

Further community participation that promotes well-being will be welcomed and could include growing and cooking classes, cost of living help, art classes and displays and small festivals.

 

 

Coming together to design, create and plant the garden will provide a foundation for future success.  This is what we have done at Percy Street.

 

What kind of Space is Sheffield Urban Community Well-Being Garden?

The mix of plants is a little like a traditional English Cottage Garden.  But we will steer away from the more artificially created varieties of flowering plants and shrubs used for display and seen in the chocolate box images.

Sheffield and Yorkshire has a rich population mix.  Almost every type of food is available in restaurants and other outlets and plants from around the world are cultivated on allotments and in private gardens.   Our Garden will be a showcase for growing and culinary diversity.

Capsicums growing outdoors in our Herb Garden in Neepsend.



Street Food in Sheffield



 

This is not an allotment or a public park.   Neither is it the setting to an aristocratic pile –the expressions of privilege now mostly in the hands of The National Trust.  The gardeners of the elite did their master’s bidding to create some wonderful spaces using their enormous wealth.  We can now pay to go and see them but, again ‘don’t touch’.   Although many of these places are now in a form of public ownership, the decisions on what they should look like, what to grow and how they should develop into the future are made by the committees and horticultural experts.   Having said all that there is no doubt that many of the plants and edibles we have today would not exist if it were not for the gardeners of the 18th and 19th centuries.  Growing under glass was developed under the patronage of the aristocracy.

 

The French have the term ‘potager garden’ which is like the English Kitchen Garden but with an intermingling of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs.  The potager garden provides the link between growing and the preparation of simple and wholesome food.  So perhaps this is the nearest we have as a model for our garden.

 

One definition I found of the Potager Garden:

The Potager is a garden of effervescent beauty; abundantly spilling over with flowers, herbs and vegetables. Rooted in traditional French gardens, its style combines and celebrates the beautiful and the useful by marrying edibles with ornamentals in order to create an abundant space teeming with life.

Here are some images of what some define as a Potager Garden.   We might borrow from some of these ideas..

 

 

 

 

We are recruiting a Project Team

In the short term we are just looking for people to sign up for regular updates on the project.

These will be sent monthly over the next 6 months.

Activity after that will be determined by progress on secring of a site and funding.

We are inviting individuals, community groups and local representatives to become involved.

Contact: Brian George   Director - Percy Street CIC

  Trustee - Heeley City Farm

email: brian@percystreetcic.com

mobile: 07795 446719

rabbit eating carrott.jpg
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