The Midcounties Co-operative has teamed up with Leamington Spa residents to grow organic fruit and vegetables in a community garden on Windmill Road.
The initiative is part of the Incredible Edible project, an urban gardening movement started in 2008 to turn unworked public land, such as verges and traffic islands, into sources of healthy food. The community garden will provide homegrown, organic goods for those living nearby at no cost.
Six Midcounties volunteers helped to convert the poor quality land to a fertile growing area for fruit and veg such as tomatoes, courgettes and rhubarb.
As part of the Midcounties Co-operative’s Regional Communities Strategy, colleagues and members come together to provide support for local community groups through volunteering and fundraising initiatives.
Volunteer Sophie Adam-Hyatt, a workforce management application superuser at Midcounties, said: “This year, food banks have been a huge focus for us so we know first-hand that there’s a need for more, free sources of nutritious food.
“A lot of time and energy has been put into the garden by the community, creating a compost heap and sourcing different seeds. It will be fantastic to be able to reap the rewards of our work, and use the vegetables to cook delicious meals.”
Derrick Knight, at Incredible Edible in Leamington Spa, said: “We estimate that global food production needs to rise by as much as 30% by 2030 to meet the requirements of an expanding population. Allotments and community gardens like these are a great way of boosting food production locally.
“The support of Midcounties and its volunteers is really making a difference and we look forward to seeing this community garden and others blossom across the country.
“We’re always on the lookout for new volunteers, so if you have a love of food or gardening please get in touch via our Facebook page at: https://bit.ly/2NmbAHo.”