Petworth Community Garden is an organic garden project, grown for the community by the community, and has its roots in the ‘Organic Food for all’ scheme which was set up to help local people with limited means learn to ‘grow your own’ and have access to free fresh organic fruit and vegetables.
It has been running for just over 10 years now, and started with a small group of local volunteers on a hugely overgrown allotment in Petworth. Over the years it has grown and developed, becoming wheelchair accessible, with wildlife ponds, wildflower areas, and a children’s garden area, and has run many different projects, including therapeutic horticulture sessions with adults and children with special needs.
Current projects include Tuesday ‘Learn and Grow’ sessions from 10am-2pm, supported by Comic Relief. This is a wheelchair accessible mixed group where participants can learn and enjoy organic gardening together. All volunteers work according to need and ability, enjoy a seasonal soup for lunch and everyone receives a share of the harvest at the end of the session. Fresh produce is grown year round, and partnered with Petworth Food Bank, the project offers opportunities for locals on low incomes to enjoy a share in the harvest whilst learning how to grow sustainable food at home.
Petworth Community Garden is presently looking for sponsorship towards their ‘Plot to Plate project’ for 2016, here harvest is gathered from the garden in the morning then participants learn to transform it into healthy delicious and low cost meals with help from The Organic Cookery School. Wonderful jams and chutneys and preserves from the produce are also made to sell at local events.
A Men’s Shed project runs from 10am-2pm on Wednesdays, thanks to the generosity of Petworth Community Church. Here volunteers design and create beautiful rural crafts over a cup of tea and a bowl of soup in the accessible activity shed on site. Again this is a mixed group with opportunities for all abilities, and the crafts are sold at local events with proceeds going back into the project.
Wildlife and gardening activities are run at the community garden in the school holidays, and Petworth Community Garden have created permaculture gardens in Petworth Primary School and Duncton Junior School where they run weekly eco clubs for the children. They also helped to create the amazing ‘Dragon garden’ at Graffham nursery and infant school, to help children enjoy early years gardening and play.
Petworth Community Garden is part of ‘Local Offer’, offering activities to children with extra needs, and they are partnered with Petworth Family Centre with the ‘Parent Volunteering’ programme, offering parents a variety of opportunities as a stepping stone back into working life.
The projects are always full and busy, enjoyed by a wide range of people. This spring the community garden needs to restart their Thursday group due to huge demand for the services, and are currently looking for funding towards this. They are committed to being accessible to people on low incomes and offer the services for donations only, and are looking for interested partners and sponsors.
The garden group is a great way to meet people from all walks of life, and enjoy the many and varied benefits that working in a supported community group can provide. There are people of all ages and abilities in the group and there are indoor and outdoor activities and jobs for all abilities.
For further information and volunteering opportunities, please see the websites below.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or
call 07717 462780. Any donations towards the project, however small, are gratefully received at the following website: