A COMMUNITY allotment scheme which invites local residents to reap the rewards of what they sow opened its gates to tell more people about its work as part of the city’s Food Festival.
The Firth Park Community Allotment project organised the open day to show off the work it is doing with residents in the Firth Park and Shiregreen areas of Sheffield.
The initiative is run by the local Sure Start Centre, and is managed by project worker Dot Rodman who is employed by Heeley City Farm.
During the week-long Food Festival members organised an open day which invited local people along to help out the regular volunteers on the site in the Brushes allotments at the top of Vickers Road.
Visitors got stuck in helping to harvest a host of different produce including gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, peas and potatoes.
In the afternoon they held their usual toddler session which saw youngsters and their parents pick and wash the fruits, before blending them into delicious smoothies to enjoy outdoors.
There was also balloon making and the chance to plant and decorate herb pots which visitors could then take home with them.
Dot said they had wanted to get involved with the Food Festival in order to spread the word about the work going on - and encourage more people to come along and take part.
Members are currently in the process of taking over a new plot and are looking for new hands to help.
A dads’ and kids’ group is also being set up to take place each Tuesday from 12.30pm, which it is hoped will prove popular in the local area.
Dot said she was pleased with how the event went.
“I believe we are one of only two Sure Start centres in the country to have our own allotment, so it was great to show off what we are doing here,” she said.
“It’s a lovely site to work on and we get volunteers involved in every step of the way - from choosing what sort of crops they want to grow, to planting, tending and nurturing, to harvesting and enjoying the produce either on site or by taking them home.
“This often gives children and families the chance to try things they would not normally buy, and it shows the youngsters where food actually comes from which is really important.
“It’s a great time of year to get involved as we have lots of new things going on and lots of good produce on offer.
‘‘It would be great to hear from new families who want to be part of the project.”
Anyone interested can call Dot on 07985 421 346 or Vicky Cooper at the Sure Start centre on 0114 203 9307.