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Transition Stratford Garden Share

Garden share scheme in Stratford (London), introducing garden owners with unused or unmanageable plots with people who would love to grow their own food but don't have access to a garden or allotment.
Related initiatives: 
Stratford

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About this project

Date started:
October 2009
Status:
Active
Number of people involved:
Number of people benefitting:
Goals or benefits:
Related Transition stage:

Description

Aims:

The aim of the project is to increase the availability of land for food growing by bringing unused gardens back into production.

Inspiration:

The chronic local shortage of allotments and the example of other Transition initiatives (thank you, Totnes, Brighton & Hove and Cambridge!)

Outcomes so far:

Since the launch in February 2010, two matching processes have been completed to the point at which agreements have been signed and others are in the pipeline.

Unexpected outcomes:

Two very positive, but not wholly expected, outcomes have been (1) the willingness of volunteers outside the core group to pick up the scheme and run with it (thank you Michael, Joy, Anna and Susie!) and (2) the general increase in neighbourliness and community spirit generated by the project before a single carrot has been grown

Obstacles, and how we overcame them:

Insurance: we cracked this one (we hope) by asking growers who are not already members to sign up, thus bringing them under our insurance cover

Lessons learned:

It seemed to take a long time to develop the matching process, draft all the questionnaires and agreements etc and we were afraid that the whole thing might be too bureaucratic. However, the lengthy preparation has paid off in that we have been able to anticipate a lot of the questions potential sharers are concerned about and can provide them with assurance that the scheme is well planned and organised.

Sources of materials:

We freely plundered the websites of Transitions Totnes, Brighton & Hove and Cambridge in developing our scheme (and will very happily share our processes and experiences with anyone who wants to develop something similar)

Further information:

Transition Stratford's Garden Share scheme works by introducing garden owners with unused or unmanageable plots with people who would love to grow their own food but don't have access to a garden or allotment. The matching process is managed by a team of volunteers, who interview owners and would-be growers separately to identify their needs and requirements and iron out questions of access and privacy before introducing potential sharers to each other. Once a match is achieved, the parties are asked to sign a simple agreement which sets out how the sharing arrangement will work. The Garden Share team is available to help sort out any problems once a sharing arrangement is up and running, and help is also available for novice growers from more experienced vegetable gardeners.

Contacts

Primary point of contact: 
Barbara Cooper
Web point of contact: 
Barbara Cooper

Is this a Transition group project or other?

Transition project
Last updated: Saturday, 1 December 2012
Themes: 
Food

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