Global Gardens: Life is about sharing

Global Gardens Photo: CNP

Have you ever thought about growing your own food? Now in Cardiff, you can find a community growing project called Global Gardens. They offer various workshops and sessions every week to teach gardening skills. The coordinators say it’s not only about food but also about sharing.

The allotment site of Global Gardens is hiding behind a bunch of houses alongside the Whitchurch Road. I visited the land at their gardening session day and one of the coordinator Vaida Barzdaite introduced the plants they’re growing now.

Plants in the garden Photo: CNP

Walking along the footpath, I can see the whole land was divided into different beds. On the left, pear trees are flourishing with flowers. Fruits are also busy with growing. Blackcurrants begin to appear on the branches but they’re still red, not yet for eating. Turning to the right, it’s the world of herbs, where can smell the fresh scent from lemon balm and garlic.

Vaida Barzdaite said, every time they run a growing session, she and the head gardener, Kai Lange will arrive earlier than other members. They will walk around like this to check the plants and make a plan for the gardening.

Creating new footpath Photo: CNP

Kai Lange is helping design the garden. He taught me how to use wood chips to create a new footpath and how Jerusalem artichokes could regrow without specific transplanting.

Another coordinator Poopy Nicol told me the polytunnel is the secret weapon in this garden. Despite its small size, it plays an essential part in accommodating plants, she said. The polytunnel was built last year but it has already brought a good harvest to the garden.

She also invited me to their community supper where they will celebrate the harvest and new crops they get each month. It’s all about sharing, she said.

Polytunnel Photo: CNP

At the supper, more members came on that day than usual. Poppy Nicol said it’s because they had a small quiz about crops and the winner could win a special souvenir from the garden. She hopes that kind of activities could help to bring people together.

Community supper Photo: CNP

She said, at present, not only the garden but also the whole project have gone very well due to the help of their members and many other organisations.

Shaun Lane is one of the community members. He’s also trying to bring more people to the garden. He thinks it’s a great way to enjoy different culture with people from all around the world. For him, the reason to joining Global Garden community is to gain an opportunity to get away from the daily work and relax himself.

Working in the garden Photo: CNP

For the coordinators Vaida Barzdaite and Poppy Nicol, they believe this community growing project is beneficial in many areas. It can not only improving people’s eating habits but also cure their loneliness.

Poppy Nicol said as an organisation, Global Gardens is still very “young”. So their next plan is to link with other communities and work together to help the project grow.

Global gardens say sharing is always their main concept, so they are happy to see more and more people show their interest in this community. They will hold more activities in the future and also hope to see more volunteers join them in the future.

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