Friday, May 20, 2011 - 17:29

Families in Penwithick have created a special garden to grow their own veg as part of a pioneering community scheme.

Residents were invited to an open day at the Penwithick Community Allotment as part of the Eden Project’s Seeds, Soup and Sarnies programme, which encourages people to grow, cook, eat and share produce with their families and the local community.

During the day, families and neighbours all pitched in to create an African keyhole garden. The unique design, which utilises a compost pit in the middle of a raised circular bed, is perfect for the allotment as everyone who tends to the garden contributes to the compost pit, which in turn benefits the plants.

The garden was such a hit that it prompted one of the residents to donate a large amount of chicken manure, which is giving the newly-planted peas, spring onions, sprouting broccoli and salad leaves, a flying start.

Claire Harris, who helped to organise the open day, said: “The community allotment is a fantastic opportunity for the families in Penwithick to experience the adventure of growing and the pride of eating their very own fruit and veg. The open day was great fun and we hope to see many more families getting involved in the future.”

The Seeds, Soup and Sarnies group meet every Thursday morning at 10am in the Penwithick Community Centre and start off with a cup of tea and a chat about their growing and cooking successes. The sessions last two hours and there are lots of fun activities for all ages, including pre-school children. When the weather is fine, the group garden in the community allotment. Several families have already planted up a variety of vegetables, but there is still plenty of room for more people to join in

Seeds, Soups and Sarnies is run by the Eden Project together with Cornwall Council’s Family Learning in the Cornish China Clay country. The programme, funded by the Big Lottery, is also being carried out in Middlesbrough, with the aim that people from both rural and urban communities can share their experiences and learn from each other.

Along with regular sessions for families, Seeds, Soup and Sarnies holds events that hope to inspire people to create their own projects, such as a recent trip to Eden. People from the Seeds, Soup and Sarnies community and families interested in joining came together to swap recipes, sample homemade food and take part in quizzes and craft activities. The event was an opportunity to share people’s growing experiences and encourage them to nurture links in their communities.

For more information about Seeds, Soup and Sarnies and sessions details, please contact Cornwall Family Learning on 01872 327520.