Local Food Growing
Heeley City Farm has been growing local food using organic practices for the last 15 years on many sites in Sheffield. We currently manage over 20 local food growing sites throughout Sheffield including school and community gardens, church land, fire stations, First Starts, local authority and private land. We directly involve hundreds of local school children, young people and adults in varied food growing projects.
In 2011, we were awarded the Sheffield Telegraph Environment Innovation Award for our local food growing work. This was in recognition of the scale and scope of our projects, producing and distributing increasing amounts of fruit and vegetables each year (approx. 5 tonnes in 2011), and the potential to go on increasing production and engagement of different communities.
Produce from our growing sites is used in a number of ways; sold to local wholefood shops, at local Farmers’ Markets and other events to raise money; supplying the café at the farm site with high quality fresh produce; shared out amongst volunteers involved in the projects.
Our main food growing sites are...
Heeley City Farm Kitchen Garden
Meersbrook Park Walled Garden
and Norfolk Park Community Garden
although we have many other sites/community gardens that we manage too!
Our Main Activities in Food Growing:
- Education, training and volunteering
- Demonstrating organic methods.
- Restoring land to cultivation
- Growing and marketing crops
- Consultancy and support
- Open days and events
Volunteering in Food Growing
The support of volunteers is invaluable to managing the many and varied food growing sites around Sheffield, and because we look after different gardens there should be something to suit everyone!
Volunteers learn about growing food organically and successfully, in a fun, friendly and informal setting. The amount of hours volunteers contribute is very flexible; a few hours once a month or two days a week- it’s all appreciated!
We can provide boots and gloves, and travel expenses as required.
As well as gardening work, volunteers can also get involved in special events and open days throughout the growing season. Days like Apple Day, Heeley Festival, South Yorkshire Festival and Autumn Produce Show are fun and rewarding to be a part of and play an important role in raising awareness of the work that we do.