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Grow Efford

Grow Efford developed opportunities for peopleto eat healthily while learning new skills and meeting other people in the community

Grow Efford worked with the Public Health Development Unit (PHDU) to develop opportunities for people in Efford to eat healthily in a sustainable way while learning new skills and meeting other people in the community.  Working in particular with the season cycles and wild food and fruit and nut trees and bushes, Grow Efford provided opportunities to identify, harvest, cook, photograph, eat, plant and share food grown or harvested in Efford. Lead artist and artist in residence Anne Marie Culhane works with Tess Wilmot.

Efford is one of the greenest areas of Plymouth with a lot of gap sites, public parks, gardens and allotments. As Efford has a number of apple trees growing locally, the project interest in 2009-2011 focused on harvesting, cooking, and pressing apples and developing skills in planting and pruning.  Anne-Marie offered fifty new trees (pears, plums and apples) to be planted in homes across the area and each new planter was then invited to come along and plant the next tree creating a dispersed orchard across Efford.

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The production of chutney and jams using the existing apple supply combined with other gluts of local fruit has proved popular across the community. Grow Efford produce has sold very successfully at Plymouth Pannier Market as part of the Plymouth wide Art’s Birthday, Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery as part of the Slow Craft exhibition (Taking Time) and other Take a Part events and sustainable food conferences and events.

Grow Efford also ran regular spring and autumn wild food walks which include tasting, cooking and eating together.

Grow Efford is held up as a case study for other organisations (Soil Association) and won Best Community Food Project at Flavourfest in 2010.

The Legacy: Efford Library supported Grow Efford to maintain their garden space as an edible public garden which is enjoyed and munched by many community members. A Grow Efford postcard booklet including recipes, harvesting, juicing and jamming events. The project iimpacted on other spaces and groups in Efford, Friends of the Efford Valley was awarded funding for 75 fruiting trees to be planted in the valley. St Paul’s residential care home planted soft fruit to support the jam making and Lipson Community College and High View School worked jam making into their community engagement plans.

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