Libraries across Blaenau Gwent are handing out home-grow kits to help green-fingered youngsters grow their own vegetables.
Written by Sarah Dalton, in South Wales Argus, on the 8th April.
Brynmawr, Abertillery and Tredegar are three of the first libraries to take part in the scheme set up by Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership and Blaenau Gwent Libraries.
Each veg library includes ‘pick and mix’ pots filled with different seeds, and envelopes that families can fill with the seeds of their choice to take home.
“The idea is for people to have a go at growing some veg at home, in response to the recent food shortages and spiralling food prices,” said Chris Nottingham, sustainable food co-ordinator for Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership.
“Hopefully there is something for everyone with varying levels of difficulty,” he added.
Ralph Connor, a director at Pentref Tyleri CIC. Picture: Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership
The current seeds available include cress, lettuce, beetroot, carrot, peas, runner beans and broad beans.
While the runner beans, broad beans and peas may require support, the other seeds are easy to grow at home, in pots or in the garden.
“If it goes well at these libraries, I hope to roll it out to the other Blaenau Gwent libraries after Easter,” added Mr Nottingham.
“There are a few other community venues which haven't quite got off the ground yet but we’re hoping to establish them as soon as possible and continue to have a selection of seeds available this summer.”
Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership, set up in 2021, is a cross-sector body working to support Blaenau Gwent with its aim of becoming a Sustainable Food Place.
The partnership includes Tai Calon Housing Association, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Natural Resources Wales.
The group collaborates with communities, businesses and institutions to tackle issues of health, poverty, local economy and environment.
“We want to support the transition to a food system that connects communities at every stage from production to consumption, making good food a simple option for every resident,” said Mr Nottingham.
Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership are also offering 10 small grants of £150 to community groups for Plant and Share month, run by Food For Life Get Togethers.
Grants are to help put on events to get people growing their own veg at home. For more information visit foodsensewales.org.uk/blaenau-gwent-food-partnership
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