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Beacon project

Beacon project

The Master Gardener Programme has been a super successful pilot project! This follows funding from the Big Lottery’s Local Food scheme as a Beacon grant and now ‘Supporting Impact.  Plus there are new, independent programmes springing up all over the country.

Last week I was lucky enough to go to a review conference of Local Food’s Beacon projects. I joined Philip Turvil, Programme Manager, who was to present the Master Gardener programme to our peers, and I was able to contribute to workshops on successes, challenges, dissemination and replication of the projects.

The hosts were Commonwork, an educational trust and organic farm in Kent, a really lovely 18th century farmstead with comfortable rooms and great conference facilities, all done as sustainably as possible. We were well fed and could network and share experiences of working to promote food growing in a relaxed setting. Evidencing social return on investment and celebration of projects were main themes.

Lots of local friends were there:  Sutton Community Farm (where former Co-ordinator Sarah has worked), Landscapes through Learning Lewis (also of the London Orchard Project), Growing Greenwich (MG Harry involved there), Harvest Brighton and Hove and Global Generation who created the Skip Garden at King’s Cross. It was great to meet Melvin, one of the founders of Incredible Edible Todmorden and Grow, Cook, Eat was the local project, based at Bore Place.

We look forward to further follow up, and a dissemination conference in November. And we’ll be shortly publishing the third round of findings on the success of the programme done by colleagues at Coventry University.

Read here about the new Medway programme

Read here about the programme at Incredible Edible Somerset

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