Sow and Grow
We have had a fantastic response from people registering to receive one of the 80 free planting starter kits. In fact, so many people have registered that we have now closed the registration forms so we can start to process the applications and start sending packs out.
Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) is working in partnership with Abberton Rural Training (ART) on an initiative called Sow and Grow. Colchester Borough Homes will be giving away a variety of seeds and raised beds to residents and the project is part funded by Active Essex, Colchester Borough Homes and ART.
This is something everyone can get involved with, whether this be in their garden, balcony, or windowsill.
The gardening giveaway includes 25 windowsill packs to grow herbs and salads, 25 kits of insect-friendly seeds for children aged 4-11, and 30 raised bed planters to grow vegetables.
Those that are awarded the packs will be asked to submit photos or videos on two occasions of the plants they have grown, to be used on CBH social media to encourage more people to get involved in growing plants. Overall winners of the competition will be awarded various prizes by ART, at their annual garden show in Wormingford on 14th July 2022.
Four previous Garden Competition winners will be ambassadors this year, giving guidance and tips, and final judging. CBH will use these on social media, in its e-newsletters and housing news and views magazine.
Chair of the CBH Board, Dirk Paterson, said: “Sow and Grow is a wonderful opportunity for people to be active, connect with nature and learn about growing their own healthy fruit and veg. You don’t need to be an expert grower to take part; this competition is suitable for everyone, whether you have a garden, a balcony or just a windowsill.
“The Sow and Grow project aims to promote healthy lifestyles, mental wellbeing and help the environment by encouraging biodiversity and pollinating insects. Happy growing!”
“Abberton Rural Training (ART) are delighted to be working with Colchester Borough Homes on the Sow and Grow initiative. We know first-hand how effective gardening and particularly growing your own food is for wellbeing, mental health and being active, especially those that are our most vulnerable and isolated in our communities. In fact, during Covid19 we worked with over 1250 households across Essex to support them growing their own and learning gardening skills, and an amazing 48% stated that their mental health had improved so much that they did not need to go to see a health professional for medication due to the project. We can’t wait to see the produce grown in your photos and at our Horticulture Show in July!”
Gardening Ambassador, Amanda, added: “The benefits of home grown veg speak for themselves, as they are completely organic, wonky (as nature intended) and a fraction of the price of shop bought. The growing element provides great satisfaction to mind and body and are proven to be very beneficial for mental health.”