The Oadby and Wigston Community Food Champions is a Big Lottery funded project running from September 2011 to March 2014. During this time, more than 1000 local people will learn how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. We hope to develop a sustainable food growing culture in the borough, and we'll encourage as many people as possible to grow and harvest their own food.
Sessions take place throughout Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston. The Green Earth Community allotment in Wigston will be used as a hub for sessions and visits. Existing organisations such as schools and community groups will be given advice and assistance to develop their own sites for food growing. We hope to extend a network of plots across the borough, creating a patchwork of production in back gardens, on balconies, in public spaces and on allotments.
The Community Food Champions
A key aspect of the project is to recruit and train a small group of volunteers as Community Food Champions. These people will promote the project, assist with and lead sessions, and provide on-going support to groups and individuals. In return they will be provided with relevant training opportunities, and will be supplied with all the necessary tools and equipment to carry out their role effectively.
Oadby and Wigston Fruit Harvesting Scheme
An additional feature of the project is the Fruit Harvesting Scheme. Groups of volunteers will identify the location of fruit trees in the Borough, and will harvest unwanted fruit and distribute it to community groups and organisations who can make good use of it.
Update July 2012...
So far over 600 local residents have taken part in food-growing activities through one-off events, longer courses, and regular volunteering opportunities at the Community Allotment and other community venues.
Seven Community Food Champions volunteer their time to support the project, offering free advice and practical support to schools in the local area, and promoting food growing at events throughout the borough.
We are expecting to be busy with fruit harvesting in the next few months, as we have registered over 50 trees in people's back gardens for the harvesting scheme, plus another 40+ trees at the two orchards in Oadby. The fruit we collect will be distributed to various locations in the borough, such as the Red Cross, a homeless hostel, and schools. If you are interested in becoming a fruit harvesting volunteer please get in touch using the 'contacts' page.