Gardeners urged to grow their own fruit and vegetables

Alistair Macleod of TransitionUStA working in one of the project's organic gardens.
Alistair Macleod of TransitionUStA working in one of the project's organic gardens.

The country’s biggest celebration of gardening will be in full bloom this week across the region as National Gardeners’ week kicks off.

The week long event which runs until Sunday, is being organised by the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN), which is encouraging locals to try their hand at growing their own food.

There has been a significant increase in community growing activity in the last six years according to new research from the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT).

The study gathered data on the number of sites and areas of land used for community growing and the results showed more than 300 sites spread over 230 hectares of land in the CSGN area. Around 72 per cent of the space was being used for allotments, 16 per cent for community orchards and 12 per cent for community gardens.

Community gardens have experienced the fastest growth both in terms of number of sites and land coverage between 2010 and 2015 with numbers increasing by 79 per cent over the period to 84.

Now in its fifth year, National Gardening Week provides an opportunity for people to recognise the many advantages of growing their own food, as community growing has a positive role to play in eating well, good health and wellbeing and fostering community spirit by encouraging people to get together.

Growing your own food can also positively impact on the local environment through a reduction in food mileage as participants reduce their fuel consumption and supermarkets face a reduced demand for products sourced from further afield.

Keith Geddes, chair of the CSGNT, which drives forward delivery of the CSGN, said: “As Europe’s largest greenspace initiative, we are working to increase the area of land used for growing plants, fruit and vegetables across the region and what better way for locals to get involved than by taking part in National Gardening Week. “

For more visit www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org or about National Gardening Week, www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk