Grow Community Gardens

Do I have to pay?

No. In the interests of making our community gardens accessable to all, especially those on a limited budget we seek funding from a range of sources. This means that each garden will have a Lead Community Gardener who will work with the community to plan and plant the garden as well as organising community events for the wider community.

All we ask is that you consider very carefully before signing up as places are limited and we want to ensure that those who need the places most can avail of them – the three things ask are if you are signing up as part of the core group are

  • 1. a commitment to come every week (ok you can have some time off for holidays) and
  • 2. a willingness to engage with others
  • 3. abide by the group rules in terms of the garden, for example there is no smoking in the garden, we take turns making the tea, we respect diversity and promote equality. These are part of the ‘group contract’ that we as a group sit down and draw up each season.

Do I need any gardening experience?

No, not at all. We have a wide range of people involved; some have never planted anything, some have had a go without much success and some are quite handy gardeners. The thing is we all muck in and work and learn together.

Do I have to come along each week ?

If you are part of the core groups then the answer is yes – as much as is possible. Obviously if you can’t make it occasionally because of other commitments we will understand. The reason for this is that it is the coming together each week, working together, sharing our successes and challenges, supporting each other, building friendships that really builds a strong sense of community. The core groups become the heart of the garden. There are other levels of involvement you can have if you can commit to weekly attendance – see How to get Involved.

I have caring commitments or work shift patterns and mightn’t be able to come each week but would like to be involved, is that possible?

As much as possible we will try to accommodate those who really want to be part of the core groups who come each week. Talk to us about your other commitments and we will look at the best way for you to get involved.

Do I need to bring tools?

No, the tools are provided at the site.

My back isn’t great so I can’t dig – can I still get involved?

We have a range of work that you can get involved in at the garden so there is something for everyone. We have participants with a range of mobility and we make sure to match up their work to suit.

Can children get involved?

Yes and No.

No in relation to the core groups:

At present our core group target age is 18 – unlimited…..The reason for this is that the sessions are planned around adults. We have tried to incorporate children of participants, especially during school holidays but this presented a number of challenges;

  • 1. The kids got bored as sessions need to planned specifically with them in mind
  • 2. More than one or two kids in the group changes the dynamic
  • 3. Some people participate in the garden to get a couple of hours break from their kids and found that having kids at the garden ‘took away from their sense of recharging and the need for adult company’

Yes in that we run sessions aimed particularly at children

We have begun to run sessions particularly aimed at children. For example we recently had a Scarecrow making workshop for the children from the 123 Trust Nursery which was a huge success.

Also children are more than welcome at any of our community events as long as they are supervised by an accompanying adult

I am a keen gardener and good with people and would like to help Grow with some of their gardens – how can I volunteer?

We welcome interest from anyone who shares Grow’s ethos and is keen to help. Contact Siobhan at siobhan.craig@grow-ni.org