The Grow Local Focus Area of the Shropshire Good Food Partnership means identifying and supporting food producers and growers at all levels to ensure a more self-sufficient and resilient food system for Shropshire.
There are inspiring initiatives across the county, at all stages from conception to scaling up, ranging from community-supported agriculture schemes to street allotments, home grower, market gardeners, community and school gardens, to farms and estates. We will provide a coordination and support hub for people who are championing local growing in their communities.
Current Feature Projects
Our Grow Local working group is currently developing three projects as pilots for expansion into a wider network of community food resilience projects. Please get in touch if any of these initiatives could be a part of your community resilience strategy.
Shropshire Rural Seed Bank Network
The Shropshire Good Food Partnership is launching a county-wide Rural Seed Bank Network and is thrilled to be receiving training support from the Gaia Seed Sovereignty Programme for this project.
The spark for this project came from the tiny Bishop's Castle Community Seed Bank, started in 2020. The BC Seed Bank launched as a part of the Bishop's Castle Community Food Resilience Plan and is volunteer-run. It takes place at the monthly farmer's market and collaborates with the food bank and library to distribute seeds. The success of this project has allowed us to devise the Rural Seed Bank Network project and to recruit Seed Stewards across the County to lead them.
The aims of the Shropshire Rural Seed Bank Network are:
to share knowledge of seed saving, growing and seed sovereignty across the County
to foster community food security and independence through inclusive access to open-pollinated seed and the knowledge of how to save and share it
to support the species genetic diversity of seed stock outside of corporate ownership
to build community resilience in the face of climate change and food system shocks
This Project will:
· Skill up 5 Seed Stewards across the Shropshire region, in Partnership with the Gaia Seed Sovereignty Programme for seed saving training
· Provide guidance and support in developing a local seed bank initiatives for each Steward’s locality
· Help launch the new seed banks, by providing a starter supply of different open-pollinated (non-F1, non-GMO) seed varieties
· Communicate the value of seed and self-sufficiency to communities through home growing and seed saving to become more food-resilient
To apply contact Daphne at firstname.lastname@example.org - please include:
your reason for wanting to become a Seed Steward
where you are based
any experience with saving seed you may have
why you and your community are well-positioned to lead a rural seed hub
Shropshire Gleaning Network
The Grow Local Group is currently looking for farmers and volunteers to develop a gleaning network across the county.
This campaign, which cuts across several of our working areas, focuses on:
Developing a network of ‘gleaners’ to work in partnerships with farmers, and community residents with fruit trees and gardens who will share their produce.
Reducing food waste associated Carbon emissions from unharvested and commercially rejected food
Linking to regional food banks and charitable organisations to ensure that seasonal produce is utilised, thus adding to regional food resilience and food security
Reconnecting with the value of food by reframing the narrative around food waste, unnecessary transport, packaging and grocery store standards
Please get in touch if you are a farmer or volunteer who would like to join the Shropshire Gleaning Network.
Land Matching & Skill Building
We're building a Go-To Hub for access to land, skills, resources and markets. We will provide practical advice and links to opportunities, helping both new and existing producers and promoting community growing.
Please get in touch if you:
Have land or are looking for spaces to grow and farm
Have skills to share or are running courses
See a need in your community and need advice to get started to establish growing projects in different settings: adult day/residential care facilities, community centres, food banks, public open spaces
The Shropshire Right to Grow Movement
This movement is the result of a motion being unanimously passed by Shropshire Council to allow citizens and community groups to apply to use disused or neglected publicly owned land for growing.
Along with the Street Allotment project, SGFP is working with Shropshire Council to support Town and Parrish Councils and applicants to get more people growing on local plots.
Join the Grow Local Working Group
The Grow Local Group is currently looking for members to contribute their skills, ideas and enthusiasm to make Shropshire a more food secure and resilient county. Focused on practical action, we are working on identifying and mapping producers, projects and possibilities for growing across the county.
This area overlaps at many points with our other working groups: Wise Land Stewardship, Healthy Food for All, Nature Connection, Reducing Waste, Sustainable Local Economy. We will work alongside these groups to make key connections and amplify our impact.
Get in touch with Daphne Du Cros, our lead for the Grow Local Group at email@example.com
We're always keen to hear about projects that are making real change. Please get in touch if you have a project that needs support and see our current Call for Proposals. At SGFP, we work to secure and manage funds to invest in local initiatives so that people on the ground can focus on what they do best, and the partnership can bring together small-scale projects to benefit from economies of scale in resource access and management.
Change starts with practical action. We've put together this list of toolkits to help support your local food aims.
Open Source Recipes
These healthy, affordable recipes are free to print-off and use for personal or organisational distribution.