With spring very much in the air, and plants starting to come back to life, a community project in our village, which began during the first Coronavirus lockdown, is now out of ‘hibernation’ for the growing season ahead.
The idea of Edible Ruddington was mooted just a year ago by a group of green fingered residents who found themselves with plenty of time to spend out and about in our lovely village. One of them, Gwen Eyre, explains: “We saw first-hand how beneficial nature and watching plants grow can be for our health. We became inspired by other groups we heard about such as the Incredible Edible movement and Abundance Keyworth and decided we would like to create something similar in Ruddington.”
So ‘Edible Ruddington’ was born – with the following aims:
- To enhance our community spaces by growing fruit, veg and herbs in “unloved” areas of the village for anyone to pick and use.
- Inspire people to grow their own and suggest ideas of how to use it.
- “Map” fruit trees in the village (public and any private ones where help is needed to harvest) and arrange harvesting and distributing to make the most of produce already in our village.
- Distribute excess produce to those in need.
- Promote the benefits of gardening and outdoor spaces.
“Thanks to Ruddington Parish Council, we took over responsibility for the planters around the Elms Park Playground and, in the autumn, planted a variety of herbs (mint, rosemary, thyme) that we hope people will be able to pick” says Gwen. “COVID has currently limited some of our plans but now spring is here we are hoping to inspire as many people as possible to grow some produce of their own. We have set up a Facebook group to share ideas and inspiration and to keep everyone up to date with our planters. We are hoping members will use the group to share seeds and seedlings so that everyone can have a go at growing something regardless of whether they have a garden, patio or a window box.”
So, if you are a village gardener who could offer advice and get involved, Gwen, Liz Corder, Emily Cooper, and Alex Preston (The Edible Ruddington team) would love to hear from you. Perhaps you belong to a local group and would like to take part? Maybe you want to learn more about growing your own and give a helping hand for an hour – or are willing and able to make planters/signs or have any other skills and/or ideas to offer? Even if you have absolutely no experience or knowledge they’d still like you to get in touch if you’re interested.
Liz adds: “The school shutdown completely took us by surprise after Christmas (we are all working mums with school age kids) which is why we have been quiet, and not had a chance to plan anything, until now.”
You can email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via their dedicated Facebook page >>HERE<<. For the time being, of course, ‘social distancing’ and other COVID-safe measures and restrictions will continue to be observed.