Britain’s ‘Growing Together’ to unlock money, land and skills for gardeners
Useful information resources for community growing groups which will help them with income generation (crowdfunding and Digital Income Generation) and highlight innovative ways that more land can be made available for community growing through community share schemes and workplace allotment-gardens.
Excerpt from: Growing Together Resources Page “Briefing: Workplace Growing”
The workplace growing concept
Workplace growing encompasses a wide range of gardening activity on sites where people work. This could be private businesses with spare pieces of land available for growing, public spaces such as universities, hospitals, schools, or prisons or could belong to organisations like churches or village halls. These are places where volunteers, staff, patients, prisoners, parishioners, customers and students can come together and create a vibrant space to grow.
Workplace growing is gardening activity supported by the workplace which allows a piece of land on their site to be used to for growing. In an RHS survey 73% of respondents said they considered gardening to be a good way of unwinding from the pressures of work and over half said if they had access to a workplace garden they would use it. Workplace growing often involves the staff who work on the site but then the local community is invited to use the land as well and actively participate in decisions about site design, what will be grown, when people will be on site and how they will all work together effectively.
Workplace growing spaces are experiencing a higher profile as the demand for community growing spaces has increased. This is particularly relevant in areas where few open spaces are available to people and where those people want to create a garden, orchard or wildlife area. People have started to look beyond their own gardens, allotments, parks or other open spaces to find additional alternative growing sites. Workplace gardens are starting to look at new ways of using land more effectively in the spaces they work in.
Growing Together have worked with a variety of workplace growing spaces. We found that most of the places that were most effective in offering land were large institutions such as hospitals, prisons, local authorities and universities. In the past nine months Growing Together has worked closely with six workplaces: two hospitals, a university, two prisons and a local authority. The sites varied and included vegetable growing, orchards, wildlife areas, and beekeeping.