When I first started this project my main concern was the growing of vegetables and it still is today. However more and more I have seen that this can coincide and be supported by active community engagement, which has many side benefits. I think there needs to be room for all types of gardening, at every level, for people to find personal expression and engage at a level that suits them and the constraints of their lives.

Each community garden and indeed garden has its own flavour which arises from those who made it. One of the strengths of our Urban Farm and Community Vegetable Garden at St Andrews Botanic Garden is that it has a horticulturally led, clearly defined vision and that we are working as a community to bring this vision to fruition. We are not all working separately doing our own thing, we are working together for a common aim. We are looking at some of the best examples out there and bringing it here to the Botanics. This horticultural approach has at its roots in sustainable organic values, systemised best practice and good relationships.

It is not just important what we do, but also how we do it, our tone. It is personally empowering for all of us to build something we can be proud of. In the process it builds our commitment, fuels our learning and increases our confidence. I am seeing there is a lot of social value in a group of people working together like this towards an ambitious vision. In the process of getting better, making friends, having fun, this project gives us an invitation, an opportunity, a structure to engage with others and in the process we are socially and personally nourished.

We look forward together to getting our crop in and with any luck having a bumper harvest this year. I hope you will come and join us and get involved in some way.

Elliott Forsyth

If you would like to develop your gardening skills, meet some new people in a relaxed, inclusive atmosphere, then come along to one of our practical sessions on the following days:

  • Wednesdays 2-4
  • Thursdays 2-4
  • Sundays 12-2

If would like to volunteer at other times it can also be arranged

Enter the garden through the side gate on Viaduct Walk and make your way to the Kernel glasshouses. Contact [email protected] for more information.