We run a small community garden in Fearn, the Fearn Free Food Garden. It was establisehd in late 2019 as a few raised beds by the side of our house, and has grown from there into its own space with a polytunnel and community seating area. We grow vegetables for and with our local community. Our guiding principles are:
- The Fearn Free Food Garden is an organic space, where we grow food and flowers without the use of chemicals and pesticides.
- The garden is education-led: that is, it is a teaching space where people can learn about living slowly and sustainably.
- The garden is not a business: food is grown communally, and shared with our local community for free.
History of the Fearn Free Food Garden
It’s literally a garden where we grow free food for you. Its first incarnation was a handful of raised beds by the side of our shed, next to our driveway, easily accessible from the lane that goes past our house. We had been planning to do this for a while but were spurred on by the 2019 election results.
At the beginning of 2020 we built the Fearn Free Food Garden on a wee bit of unused land by the side of our lane. We’re on the unnamed road behind the hotel in Fearn – the footpath to the village shop. With the advent of the COVID-19 crisis we realised that there would be a greater need for folks to have access to local food, so we quickly started to sow a lot more, and to turn over more of the main garden (behind the hedge) into veg beds, and to grow a lot more veg plants to share.
During the summer of 2020 we ran a small Free Market Stall every Saturday, 11-2, where we shared our veg and plants. In 2021 we were not able to do this, but instead focused our efforts on turning an unused space behind our house into a bigger community garden.
In 2020 we distributed over 1400 free plants to our local community and gave away free food every week from May to mid-September. In 2021 we gave free ‘grow your own’ kits consisting of compost, a growing tray and vegetable seeds to over 100 local families. We also distributed over 2500 free veg plants to our local community and schools and community groups across the UK.