There has never been a better time to get involved with the buzz of community growing and One Seed Forward, based throughout Aberdeen City and Shire, is an initiative which has won the Aberdeen Sustainable Food Organisation EcoCity Award, and has had their work with school groups chosen by Aberdeen University to represent a prime example of community engagement to MSPs at Holyrood.
One Seed Forward is a community growing initiative with the aim of encouraging family and community groups to grow their own food by giving away free seeds and plants, and providing online support to people who have never grown food before, particularly aiming at those within regeneration areas.
Beginning in December 2016, One Seed Forward estimates that over 28,000kg of produce has been grown since then as a result of the project. One of their most popular events is Potato Day, where they give away seed potatoes. This year over 100 schools and community groups took part, as well as several hundred families, with 1000kg of potatoes distributed for free.
One Seed Forward has a community garden which is used to support groups like The Allotment Market Stall, selling fresh local produce from plots around Aberdeen at weekly stalls in city parks during the summer, as well as having volunteers and educators come along and share various growing techniques such as composting, no dig beds, and tree pruning.
The group also formed a partnership with a local foodbank and community garden at the start of lockdown called ‘Keep Growing Aberdeen’ that gave away seeds and materials to get people to try growing at home and sharing their seedlings and produce with others in the community. This has continued into 2021 and they have an aim of establishing three new community growing spaces in the city this year. Over 600 families have taken part in the ‘Keep Growing Aberdeen’ project.
As well as community support, One Seed Forward is very engaged with education and has developed an education programme called ‘Garden Schools Together’ with the University of Aberdeen as the demand for outdoor learning increases. This online programme is available to all schools, guiding them every step of the way from a blank space in a playground through to harvesting.
One Seed Forward is run by volunteers and they have been fortunate to receive small grant amounts to allow their work to continue. New volunteers are always welcome and you can contact them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join and learn with One Seed Forward.