Celebrating Plant and Share
Plant and Share Month was created by Food for Life Get Togethers to bring communities together through sowing, growing and sharing. Now in its third year it has grown from a seed of an idea to a strong and healthy campaign.
Starting in the middle of the pandemic lockdown era, Plant and Share Month 2021 saw distanced plant swaps over neighbours' gardens, online hanging basket tutorials and video how-to workshops. Fast forward to 2023 and the campaign has flourished and grown past all expectations with 1500 events registered, three times as many as last years’ campaign, 23,000 downloads of the resources, and an estimated 25,000 people attending a Plant and Share event across the UK.
With so many Plant and Share activities to choose from, this the Get Togethers team got out and to experience a small sample of the variety of inspiring events taking place through the nation over Pant and Share Month. We started the campaign off in a rather soggy Cardiff for the Back to our Roots - Growing and Sharing Without Borders workshop run by Carol Adams, a My Food Community alumni. Carol was hosting the Plant and Share activity as her organisation Food Adventures in collaboration with the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel on their Jamii project, bringing people from across south Wales together to grow vegetables that are culturally and traditionally relevant to the African diaspora; from leeks to okra and callaloo.
Next the team visited Clydach Community Garden in Swansea, where Hannah, the Get Togethers lead in Wales, hosted a bustling Plant and Share event with plant sales, tea and cake, bringing over 200 people together throughout the day to enjoy the community garden and take home a seedling or two.
At the northern end of the country in Blackburn, Chandra, our My Food Community manager went along to the bee and apiary session at Cherry Tree Library. Volunteers at the library have created a thriving apiary and hosted an interactive session to learn about precious pollinators. To learn more about bees and pollinators there are several resources in the Plant and Share toolkit.
Emma in our comms team hosted a Big Help Out community event, the nationwide volunteer day co-organised by one of the Get Togethers national partners, the Royal Volunteer Service. Where volunteers came together to maintain green spaces, plant up flower beds and tidy up the play area in a village in North Devon. Read more about it here.
Towards the end of this bumper crop of Plant and Share Month events, we headed to Kushinga Community Garden in Birmingham, a garden of sanctuary for refugees, asylum seekers and the local community, for their Plant and Share specific event run by Eric Ngang, another My Food Community alumni and close collaborator with Carol Adams from Food Adventures - read more about their joint project here.
The final event was just up the road from Birmingham in Leicestershire, where some of the team headed to Greystoke Primary School, a Food for Life school, with their own garden. It was a wonderful way to see the month out by speaking to the students and teacher who have a weekly gardening club, to find out just what it means to them to grow their own food and to spend time outside with their classmate learning all about growing.
‘’These events show the breadth and diversity of Get Togethers and that is down to the volunteers, schools and community groups who give their time to host a Plant and Share event so THANK YOU from all of us here at Get Togethers for making this Plant and Share Month the most successful to date.’’ Adam Carter, Senior Programme Manager, Food for Life
If you hosted a plant and share event, we’d love to hear from you, so please tag us in your post via #plantandshare or @SAfoodforlife, or via the Facebook community.
We’ll be sharing more on all the Plant and Share Month activities across the nation in the coming weeks.