New Blackburn group offers real food for thought!

Volunteers in Blackburn are starting to see the fruits of their labour in a new project encouraging people to grow their own produce.

Blackburn Edible is a new spin off group from the ever-popular Keep Blackburn Tidy – a group of avid volunteers who litterpick across the town.

They have been using some of the ‘gems’ they’ve found on their travels to help get the scheme up and running – often using alleyways!

And now they’re hoping new volunteers will get involved and help the project grow!

Tracey Padia, who started the group, said: “We’re working to transform neglected areas to make them places where residents can grow their own food.

“People often think they need an allotment or garden, but we’ve been doing it in pots in alleyways.

‘We’re looking for new volunteers to join us people who are keen gardeners and growers – whether it be on their own allotment, in their garden on just in pots.

“We have big ambitions! We want to transform neglected green spaces of our town and provide edible food sources for our residents.”

The two groups, Blackburn Edible and Keep Blackburn Tidy, come together brilliantly – best seen in the work with the alleyway projects.

Gifted plants and edibles – often in pots and containers that have been litter pick finds – are giving an instant lift to alley projects.

In one scheme, some spare guttering has been transformed to be used as a planter to grow lettuce!

The sharing, supporting and pay it forward ethos is having a positive impact throughout Blackburn with Darwen.

And, they are now also asking the gardening community to sow a little extra, grow a little extra and swap seeds and plants to help support the community projects and help spread the positive ripples of change.

Sally Booth, the council’s Environmental Education Officer, said: ‘This community group is a great way to start your journey on growing your own produce.

“It’s also a great way to swap items you may have usually thrown away. Everything is given a new purpose.

“We’d love to see more people get involved. No question is too silly to ask so please do get in touch!”

You can find the groups on Facebook by searching ‘Keep Blackburn Tidy’ and ‘Blackburn Edible’ or by using the Twitter handles: @Blackburntidy @EdibleBlackburn