Monday 1 June 2015
• 8 community food-growing projects and many other edible gardens across Leeds will open their gates to the public for first Edible Open Gardens day
• Organised by Feed Leeds, RHS supported organisation to promote growing for consumption in the city
© RHS / Jason Ingram
Hidden behind walls, glimpsed through gates and spied through railings – gardeners right across Leeds tend year-round to vegetable patches, allotments, orchards and community gardens, producing a veritable harvest of sustainable produce. Now, as part of a new initiative from Feed Leeds, a network of organisations and individuals involved with local food, these same gardeners will be opening their prized growing spaces to the public, for one day only (Sunday 7 June, 1-4pm).
Offering the opportunity to take a tour of Leeds’ growing number of productive plots, and meet the people keeping the farm to fork philosophy alive in the city, the Edible Open Gardens day encourages residents to connect with their local food-growing projects, and raises awareness of the earthy origins of much of the food and drink we consume. The gardeners and volunteers themselves will be on hand to answer questions from budding growers, and there will be the chance to buy plants and produce to take home. For families, there’ll even be fun activities to engage younger children and encourage them to learn more about how fruit and vegetables are grown.
To help visitors plan their journey between gardens easily, Feed Leeds have produced an interactive map and handy downloadable trail with full; garden details available from www.turnstone.tv/fl-opengardens.html
Sarah-Jane Mason, RHS Regional Development Officer and Feed Leeds Committee member, said: “The RHS is passionate about supporting grassroots community gardening, and I've been lucky enough to be involved with Feed Leeds since its inception in 2012. It’s really encouraging to see such an appetite for edible growing across the city, and the project now supports over 500 individuals and over 60 edible growing groups across the city. One of the project’s real strengths lies in connecting communities through a shared love of horticulture, meaning that novice gardeners are supported to learn how to grow their own local produce, and given the opportunity to learn from experienced gardeners. I hope that this Open Edible Gardens event will encourage many more Leeds residents to get out and meet their local community gardening champions and maybe some will even be encouraged to pick up a trowel and join in.”
Feed Leeds was officially launched in September 2012, with the chief focus of finding, researching and building relationships with food-growing projects of all kinds across Leeds to develop a strategic picture of existing activities, and to identify ways to potentially improve visibility, effectiveness and co-operation between organisations. With guidance from local councils and the RHS, and staffed entirely by volunteers, the scope of the network has grown to offer advice and support to organisations and individuals involved with sustainable food and related issues across the city, and a commitment to education through the Leeds Edible Schools Sustainability Network and Leeds Edible Campus.
For more information on Feed Leeds, visit http://www.feedleeds.org/
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact Adam Budhram in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.
Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 211 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262