Food Plymouth’s Generous Earth community composting and earth repair project, led by Tess Wilmot, got off to a fabulous start in 2021 with the Fertile Edges initiative at Snapdragons in Victoria Park. Fertile Edges is a collaborative pilot project helping the Snapdragons team to provide compost and develop creative solutions to their landscaping challenges.
In November 2020 Generous Earth was awarded circa £3,000 from the Green Minds initiative administered by the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO). This ‘pump priming’ money is helping to meet outlays around navigating the complex legalities and bringing in the expertise necessary to set up community composting systems. It is also funding some essential composting equipment.
In February 2021 additional funding was obtained from Stronger North Stonehouse to start the composting process on the Snapdragons site. Over six weeks in February and March a working array of composting solutions was set up beside Snapdragons entrance. COVID-19 lockdown restrictions prevented composting workshops from taking place. So, an interactive zone of activity along the ‘Fertile Edges’ of the fence between Snapdragons and Victoria Park was set up instead. This was very visible and passers-by could engage, ask questions and even bring their garden waste to help feed the composting systems.
In addition to composting, Food Plymouth is nurturing its links with other community gardening projects in Plymouth. In March, Seeds n Feeds and Inner City Seeds joined with Food Plymouth’s Generous Earth to hold composting events online, in order to include more people during these challenging pandemic-restricted times. We were very pleased to have Doctor Compost Nicky Scott, from Chagford, join us with our online Composting Conversations. Our composting presentation at Inner City Seeds’ second coffee morning was recorded so that we can share it with a wider audience.
Commenting on the successful Fertile Edges collaboration, Laura from Snapdragons says:
“Working with Tess on the Fertile Edges (Generous Earth) initiative has been so beneficial to our wider project. Not only are we benefitting from the expertise, but we are also learning new skills and composting on site, while getting so much more interaction with the local community. It has been a fabulous start to this collaborative work, and we can’t wait to do more!”
One of the aims of Generous Earth is to build a band of composting enthusiasts, sharing tips, resources and encouraging more composting in the city. This aligns with Food Plymouth’s Sustainable Food Places Bronze to Silver Award drive, notably the Food for the Planet theme. If you are interested, please get in touch with Tess Wilmot at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Snapdragons between 2-4pm on a Friday afternoon.
Main image: Alice Miller feeding the HotBin composter.