Food project recruits network of gardeners

By Alexandra Bánfi   |   Reporter   |
Saturday 11th June 2022 9:15 am
@AlexandraBanfi
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A FOOD, nature and wellbeing project is recruiting volunteers to join a network of gardeners and share their “enthusiasm and knowledge” with communities across the Dyfi Biospehere.

The Tyfu Dyfi project is looking for volunteers to join a network of gardeners across the Dyfi Biosphere who are “willing to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with others”. The project will be running an introductory event on Friday, 24 and Thursday, 30 June in Aberystwyth.

Tyfu Dyfi gardening volunteers share their food-growing skills in schools, community gardens, day care centres or simply with their friends and neighbours, and they receive regular training and support in return for just a couple of hours a month of their time.

The free introductory course is organized by the UK gardening charity Garden Organic in partnership with Aber Food Surplus and Tir Coed’s AnTir project, and will include visits to at least two community growing sites in Aberystwyth.

Coordinator Jade Phillips said: “We are always looking for new people to get involved.

“We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds, and we find everyone brings their unique ideas and enthusiasm to the project. It’s a very exciting time because there’s so much interest in growing food these days. People want to see more local food and they also recognize that gardening is good for mental health.”

Tyfu Dyfi, which is run by seven partners and led by Ecodyfi, is about connecting people with food and nature, community growing, developing local food distribution systems, and supporting farmers and growers to diversify, across the Dyfi Biosphere.

“This a pilot project to demonstrate how communities can be involved in their local food systems and see all the benefits that flow from that. We have an opportunity here to do something really exciting that builds on years of experience in this part of Wales,” said project coordinator Chris Higgins of Ecodyfi.

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities-Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Tyfu Dyfi is also supporting community growing by making grants to improve community growing sites. So far these have included Laudato Si in Penparcau and Llandre Community Garden. There will be an opportunity for more organizations to apply for funding later this year.

Jade added: “As well as the volunteer training, we have a newsletter to put people in touch with each other, and we are also running regular events at community sites. We’re really keen to hear more ideas about what we could do for community growing in the Biosphere.”

If you would like to book a free place on the introductory course, by 20 June, or to find out more about the Tyfu Dyfi volunteer programme, contact Jade Phillips on [email protected], or 07583 575930.

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