Last month, Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, attended Edible York’s spring event at the Friends Meeting House in Friargate. She helped launch the ‘Guide to Community Growing’, which provides people with advice on how to start their own edible gardens in public places. There are edible gardens already dotted around the city, in places such as St Clements Church and the Red Tower behind Navigation Road.

Run by volunteers, edible gardens brighten up the city and provide fresh fruit and vegetables for free. The Guide to Community Growing gives lots of useful resources, including tips on how to set up new community groups for starting edible garden projects, and advice on how to cultivate, reap and sow.

Afterwards, Rachael was able to talk to the volunteers about the projects that they have planned for the coming year. Rachael helped to promote the Abundance project, which is currently crowdfunding resources on York Hive.

The Abundance project organises volunteers to pick fruit from gardens and wild areas in York, making sure that it is eaten and enjoyed rather than going to waste. In 2015 over 450 kilos of fruit was harvested in the Abundance Harvest, and Edible York aims to increase the harvest this year and allow even more people to benefit from the locally grown produce.

Rachael is fully behind the work done by Edible York, praising the way in which it strengthens the community, getting people together to enjoy growing fruit and vegetable and contributing to our city.

Rachael Maskell MP says:
“Edible York is a fantastic asset to our city. Through the Community Gardens volunteers have transformed patches of land for social good. This new guide is a brilliant resource for giving people ideas and advice for how they can get involved in growing fruit and vegetables in public spaces.

“Food poverty is a serious problem, and the sharp rise in foodbank usage in the past five years shows that local people are going hungry. Edible York helps give local people access to healthy food by supplying food banks, children’s centres and community cafes.

“This guide helps us start new initiatives for growing food in York. It brings people together in a positive way, allowing neighbours to share their knowledge and skills with fantastic results.”

Bill Eve, Chair of Edible York says:
“We are not only proud of both of our new Guide to Community Growing booklet, but also of our small team of Abundance volunteers which harvest fruit each year and re-distribute it to those who can benefit most. We really want to spread this great activity across the whole of York, but we can’t do it without everyone’s collective support! Please look at our page on the crowdfunding Spacehive website and consider pledging any amount that you can afford, to help us make this this lovely scheme available to everyone in the City.”

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