Growing concerns!

Growing a Greater Bentley (GCB) volunteers, from left, Stephen Platt, Jean Baldwin, Carol Baldwin, Chris Platt, Lynette Chipp, and GCB chair Adam Howarth attend to one of their planters.

Growing a Greater Bentley (GCB) volunteers, from left, Stephen Platt, Jean Baldwin, Carol Baldwin, Chris Platt, Lynette Chipp, and GCB chair Adam Howarth attend to one of their planters.

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TALK about getting something to eat on the hoof!

A group of volunteers from a Doncaster village are getting residents growing their own... out on the streets.

And under the scheme, called Growing a Greater Bentley, anyone in the village will be free to help themselves to the vegetables as they walk past!

So far, members of the scheme have already placed planters with the crops outside major buildings in Bentley, including the library, St Peter’s Church and the Baptist Church.

There are plans to introduce them into Toll Bar and Scawthorpe too.

Group chairman Adam Howard said the idea was to encourage people to grow their own food at home, even if they do it only in tubs or window boxes. They are taking their inspiration from a scheme in Todmorden in West Yorkshire, which has seen grass verges taken up for rows of vegetables.

The project leaders in Bentley are in talks with Doncaster Council about a turning a patch of land behind St Peter’s Church into a community garden which would run on a similar principle to the planters.

Mr Howard said: “We are growing things including salad crops, a range of herbs, spring onions, carrots and potatoes.

“The idea is we think we are looking at a world where oil is scarcer, food more expensive, and we’d like to have reliable local food growing. We’re also finding it brings people together when they hear about what we’re doing.

“We think it is going really well and people are really taking an interest now they can see things starting to happen.”

He said there was an element of trust in the scheme - the group are hoping residents will adopt and look after the planters, watering them when they need water.

He said they hoped the planters would not be vandalised, but added the experience of the scheme in Todmorden had been that people respected the crops.

Lynette Chipps, a member of the scheme, said she felt the group’s monthly meetings at Bentley Baptist Church were succeeding in bringing people together.

“We do food sharing, where people bring in things they have grown,” she said.

“As far as the planters are concerned, we are trusting people not to just take everything,” she added.

The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at Bentley Baptist Church at 6.30pm to learn about growing with film shows, practical planting sessions and evenings where the food grown is cooked and sampled.

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