Sheffield community group urge families to grow their own food

Parson Cross park plot holder  Andrew Holland.
Parson Cross park plot holder Andrew Holland.
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A green-fingered community group is appealing to Sheffield families to ‘grow their own’.

The committee behind Parson Cross Park’s garden project are promoting the benefits of allotment spaces to hard-hit families and older people.

Parson Cross park plot holders, from left, Darren Hattersley, Mick Frith and Andrew Holland.

Parson Cross park plot holders, from left, Darren Hattersley, Mick Frith and Andrew Holland.

With food costs rising the patches offer a more cost-effective alternative – giving people the chance to grow fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs in exchange for a maintenance cost of £12 per year.

Volunteers took over running the facility last year when Big Lottery funding dried up, but the future of the community gardens depends on more plots being adopted as 60 of the 90 are currently unoccupied.

Mick Frith, chairman of the Parson Cross Community Gardens project, said: “If people grow their own vegetables it can save them money. It’s a lot cheaper than the supermarkets and their prices keep going up.

“Anything you can get in a greengrocer’s you can grow here – cabbage, runner beans, turnips, sprouts and all your salad stuff like cucumber and lettuce. Last year we had a bumper crop of sweetcorn which was just as succulent as anything you’d buy.

“We really want to encourage more families to come down with their children. It can be a day out for them and they can learn about how things grow, how to look after plants.

“At first it was set up for people in the Parson Cross area because they wanted somewhere to grow, but we want to open it up to the whole of Sheffield. We really hope people are willing to travel.”

The group is now hard at work creating a communal area for children to play in while their parents garden and a new compost toilet in the hope that better facilities will attract more growers.

And the community-spirited plot owners have pledged to share their expertise with any people who are new to the world of growing.

Parson Cross Community Gardens will host an open day on Saturday July 13.

n Anyone interested in a plot can call Mick on 07514756773.