The food group aims to encourage the growth of local produce through community markets and garden share schemes
Our focus is on the sustainability of our food provision, primarily encouraging a return to eating locally and seasonally, and finding local producers in the Sidmouth area.
We manage the monthly Community Market in Sidmouth, and operate the Garden Sharescheme in the Sid Valley area.
If you would like to get involved please contact me.
Membership is open and the contribution of all local residents is sought for and appreciated.
Blogs, which might interest you:
Home Grown Community Grown helped the Sidmouth Food Group of VGS and Friends of the Byes with projects in the Byes projects. [Futures Forum: Home Grown Community Owned]
This is what it looked like early last spring:
Sidmouth Food Group
About the Project
Friends Of The Byes / The Byes Environmental Education Project is a group of locals that have set out on an exciting project to improve the Byes area in Sidmouth, Devon. The main aim of the BEE project is to improve biodiversity of the byes and to create an educational platform for learning and improved usage of this large piece of parkland. This will be done with tree and hedge planting, along with other recommended steps that will help bring more wildlife for users of the byes to enjoy (e.g. bees, bats, birds, butterflies, invertebrates, mammals).
As well as improving the Byes as a wildlife habitat, we aim to:
- grow food using sustainable and organic techniques
- strengthen local food security
- trial diverse and experimental growing techniques
- strengthen community and social links
- promote creativity
Jan 2012 (Scroll down for earlier news items)
The community orchard is proceeding as part of the larger BEE (Byes Environmental Education) project, which has recently been awarded a £44,000 grant from the Lottery!
Already, the group have been busy planting up an orchard as well as other fruit and nut trees along the Byes. They were also awarded a free hedge pack from the Woodland Trust which they have used to plant up part of the perimeter.
The group continues to seach for land and has talked to the National Trust and East Devon District Council about potential sites.
Please contact us if you know of any land in or near Sidmouth that might be available for food growing.
To find land to create a community garden - this group has already located a field and is working with the landowner to lease the ground for a community garden - the biggest problem for them at the moment is Japanese Knotweed.
A couple of setbacks - our project manager has had to pull out due to work commitments, and now we have given up the site as, realistically there is too much Japanese Knotweed for us to manage it.
The whole lower two thirds of the site is heavily infested despite the farmer spraying it.
I spoke to a guy at the environment agency about it and he said that the best way to get rid of it is to keep pulling and digging it up and eventually this would weaken the root system. We would be quite happy to do this if it was a manageable amount and we’d caught it early before it had spread so far. He still said it would take years (5 – 7) of doing this to get rid of it and that spraying alone would not really do it. In any case it would not be ideal for us to try to grow organically right next to a huge site that was being sprayed twice a year.
So we are on the lookout for a new site...
I have a lead to follow regarding a patch of land next to John and Jean Twibells house (Farthing Wood, Broadway, Sidmouth).
In the meantime we are going to concentrate on increasing interest, advertising courses and events, fundraising etc until we get somewhere else – but we are definitely not giving up! J