Petworth Community Garden has gone from strength to strength
Petworth Community Garden was started in 2005 as part of the Garden Organics ‘Organic Food For All’ initiative.
Kate Green, is the founding member and coordinator of the garden, she said: “Garden Organic were looking for organic gardeners to volunteer to be mentors for the scheme, which was to offer people with limited means access to fresh free organic produce by helping them learn to ‘grow your own’ in a community project, I loved the idea and signed up.
“I initially thought that there would be a project that I would be asked to help on locally, but during my training it became clear that I was to go back to my community and start up my own one there.
“I didn’t have any confidence that I could do that at the time as I was lone parenting a young child and was running a small organic gardening business already, but they sent me away with some tools, a few seeds a big folder of info and lots of encouragement on the phone and I set off to look for some land to grow on.”
An allotment holder agreed with Petworth Town Council to let the project use his space.
Kate started work in September 2005 with someone with learning disabilities.
She said: “Another local lad was loitering nearby that day and offered to help, and so the garden group was started.
“Very soon, mostly through word of mouth we had a thriving and diverse group of locals enjoying working together, learning organic and wildlife gardening and sharing the harvest.”
The project was planned for 15 members but over the years has grown and grown.
Kate said: “We make jams and chutneys from the harvest with members of our ‘Jammy Dodger’s’ group and we sell our preserves and Men’s Shed crafts at Petworth Farmers markets and at other local events.
“Our full membership is around 60 people with a fantastic core of local volunteers supporting all aspects of the projects and we have lots of links with other groups and organisations in the community.”