Springmills Garden Group is a community project developed from a collective ambition to reduce reliance on economic growth and to pool time, energy and knowledge to increase the self sufficiency of its members.
We currently have three families growing their own seasonal vegetables. Our main focus is to facilitate as many local people as possible to grow their own food through a co-operative scheme. The project is 'not for profit', though we grow an excess which is sold in order to cover the costs of our own produce. We believe that everybody deserves access to healthy food and the space and help to learn the true costs and the rewards involved. We share fresh seasonal produce which raises our standards of living, aides our wellbeing and subsidises our weekly food bills.
Although we recognise the importance of allotments both economically and historically, Springmills gardening group has adopted a less formal and more social attitude towards growing as a result of its informal origins. All the groundworks and preparations each season are done by the Springmills Garden Group together and the aftercare divided amongst our members, each family being responsible for a different day of the week. Instead of dividing the land amongst our members in plots all the crops are sown and grown together as they would be on a commercial farm. The planting continues on a traditional crop rotation scheme.
The benefits of this include; 1. a reduced workload to each family, as they only need to tend the crops once a week or less 2. an increased yield as a large workforce can plant a bigger crop and management, weeding and pest control are easier in a monoculture. 3. more social interaction and inter reliance within the community. 4. no 'fallow land' as with conventional allotment schemes; members can drop out and others can join to keep the plots in use. 5. In this group scheme the members will also share the losses as well as the gains so that the loss of a few plants does not deprive any one grower of the final harvest. 6. We socialise together, enjoy ourselves and learn together making full use of each others skills, knowledge or energy.