New help offered as community garden schemes flourish in Penistone

New shoots: Coun Dave Griffin and Helen Townsend, who involved in launching Penistone district's Incredible Edible network.
New shoots: Coun Dave Griffin and Helen Townsend, who involved in launching Penistone district's Incredible Edible network.
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A new Incredible Edible organisation is being planned in Penistone to help the increasing number of community gardens which have begun springing up in the town and surrounding villages, operated by volunteers and offering free produce to those who want it.

Penistone West ward Coun Dave Griffin and the company Twiggs, employed by Penistone Area Council to support communities in the district, are involved with the plans and a meeting takes place on Thursday evening (August 2) from 6.30pm at the Springvale Community Garden, open to those with an interest in the scheme.

Coun Griffin said it was hoped those already actively involved with gardens would appreciate the support an overarching organisation could support, as well as providing an opportunity for those with ideas for launching new gardens to gain advice and support.

The Incredible Edible movement started years ago in Todmorden, with fruit and vegetables grown in public beds throughout the town and available to be harvested as wanted by the public.

Locally, a range of community gardens have sprung up, with an orchard and herb bed created at Saunderson Gardens in Penistone, orchards planted in community gardens at Millhouse Green and Thurgoland and a new vegetable garden created near the ‘Lakes’ estate in Penistone. A similar scheme also operates in the village of Oxspring.

Coun Griffin said: “Incredible Edible provides a network for doing things. They provide advice, a constitution, everything you need to set one of these up.

“People might know public land near them where it may be feasible for an Incredible Edible project and they can come along and chat to us,” he said.

The purpose of forming a network is to provide support for individual projects, which could help with branding and advertising, to make sure all similar projects in the area were known to the public.

There was also the potential of making information available, to help visitors to understand the plants and the produce they would provide, with information on the appropriate times to harvest.

Coun Griffin was instrumental in getting a new community garden at Millhouse Green off the ground, using a plot of land which would otherwise have been sold for housing by Barnsley Council and which has now been planted with an orchard.

Volunteer Helen Townsend, who lives nearby, is among those also involved in setting up the new Incredible Edible scheme.