Sunday, 1 November 2009

Student Allotments Project

On Monday, I mentioned (see or click on the headline above) that I had met with three University of Dundee students who are working on a project to encourage those who want to start growing their own fruit and vegetables in Dundee.

I was very impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment and have asked the Leisure & Communities Department to assist this very worthwhile project. Over 50 students have already shown interest in it and the Botanic Garden has provided an area to provide a plot to get started, but the group is keen to identify other plots across the area that could be put to productive use in growing vegetables and fruit.

I paste below part of an update I have received from the group – if anyone can assist the group, do please let me know :

“We were thinking about setting up a student placement (the curator has offered office space in the Botanic Garden) and create an Allotment-Advice & Info-Point for people who want to start growing their own fruit and vegetables in Dundee.

School children could visit the plot(s) and learn about seasonal foods, the importance of localising food production, working together as a community, keeping the ground healthy and fertile (crop rotation) and tackling climate change at the same time.

Another task for the student placement would be working with the city council and private land-owners in order to identify unused green spaces that could be turned into allotments.

We have already filled in an expression of interest form for the Climate Challenge Fund to ask for funding (tools, seeds, etc.).

At the Botanic Garden, we've put in the posts (to separate our plot and to make sure the really keen students don't take over the whole nursery), started digging (turning over the soil and mixing in compost) today and really need (old) spades ... in case someone wants to make a donation.”