Room to Grow’s Harvest Festival celebrates residents food growing achievements

An innovative Swansea project is set to host a Harvest Festival celebrating the newly acquired food growing skills of committed Penderi residents.

Room to Grow, which repurposes under-used gardens into green spaces for food growing, will be running the event at Blaen-y-Maes Drop in Centre on September 24th.

The festival will celebrate food grown by people from across the community as part of the Penderi Green Regeneration Project, which has been running in partnership with Pobl, the Environment Centre, Room to Grow, Swansea Council and Swansea Community Farm.

During the day volunteers from Room to Grow will be discussing wooden planter building with people from Blaen-y-Maes, Cadle, Penplas, and Portmead, collectively known as Penderi.

They will also be on hand to offer expert advice on growing your own vegetables, and visitors can help themselves to a host of fresh produce which will be available on the day.

Room to Grow will also be discussing its grow, cook, eat initiative, which aims to encourage more people to live sustainably and grow their own produce. As part of this they will be offering recipe tips for fresh produce and taking inspiration from Blaen-y-Maes Drop in Centre’s recently released community cook book.

The event follows a number of workshops run by Room to Grow at the Drop-in Centre and at Blaen-Y-Maes Primary School this year as part of the Penderi Green Regeneration Project being led by Pobl Group.

The project, which includes partners Swansea City Council, the Environment Centre, and Swansea Community Farm, aims to support local people in Penderi to connect with their green spaces, to improve them for people and nature.

On the Harvest Festival, Mike Scott at Room to Grow said: “It’s been our privilege to work at the Drop in Centre and with the residents across Penderi this summer to promote more sustainable living practices.

“For us we want to ensure that the people who attend our sessions can really benefit from what they learn, and begin a journey towards greater food resilience.

“We hope that our sessions have equipped people with the skills to not only grow their own food, but also the confidence to make more sustainable choices throughout their lives going forwards.

“After such a successful few months of sharing our knowledge across the community, it felt only right that we should host an event where people can come and share what they’ve learned, ask us questions, and discuss the next steps in their journey.

“We look forward to welcoming people to the Harvest Festival event, and we’d encourage anyone who is thinking of starting to grow their own food at home to pop along and find out more.”

Kate McCabe, Community Development Facilitator for Pobl, said: “We are pleased to have worked with Room to Grow on this project to deliver these sessions, which have taught valuable skills in growing food at home for people in Penderi.

“We’re really excited that this will culminate in the Harvest Festival which promises to be a really informative, and enjoyable event for all those who attend.”

The event will be taking place at Blaen-y-Maes Drop in Centre on September 24th from 11am to 1.30pm.

Pobl is able to deliver the Penderi Green Regeneration Project with the help of key partners, Swansea Environment Centre, Room To Grow, Swansea Community Farm and the Nature Conservation Team at Swansea Council, with funding by UK Government under the Community Renewal Fund (CRF).