Gardening group champions importance of communal growing ahead of World Soil Day

A network of local gardeners is digging its way to a more sustainable future by cultivating organic kitchen gardens in communal allotments

Three people show communal growing as they dig into a community garden patch full of flowers with shovels
Gardening community Edible Cardiff is working with local people to make soil healthier. (Image credit: NeONBRAND on Unsplash)

Local growing network Edible Cardiff is working with local people to make gardening more environmentally sustainable. Ahead of World Soil Day on 5 December, they share tips on planting, composting, and growing.

With the rise of pesticides, erosion and urbanisation, World Soil Day raises awareness that soil is not as healthy as it used to be.

The work of community networks like Edible Cardiff proves vital in planting the seed for an environmentally sustainable future.

South Wales development worker Lisa Williams explains that Edible Cardiff brings local gardeners and volunteers together, using community allotments to grow, eat, and share more sustainably nutritious food.

With shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables during the pandemic, Edible Cardiff helped launch growing kits to promote growing from home, says Lisa.

She explains, “We saw an opportunity to reach far deeper into communities and inspire those who simply don’t have time or can’t physically volunteer at their local garden.”

They now support 100 community growing groups involving 2,000 individuals across Cardiff.

The sun sets behind the community garden of the Global Gardens Project allotment
​​Global Gardens Project meets every Saturday at their community allotment located off Whitchurch Road, Cardiff. (Image Credit: Abby Allen)

Poppy Nicol, project coordinator of Cardiff’s growing group Global Gardens Project, says, “Currently we grow less than 5% of fruit and vegetables needed for the Welsh population to meet their five a day.”

In light of World Soil Day, Poppy says the health of Cardiff soil could be better. “The council should stop using glyphosate-based pesticides on streets and could do more to support community groups accessing land to grow fruit and vegetables.”

These community groups are promoting a more practical way forward for soil preservation including a tips on how to set up your own compost heap.

Global Gardens Project plans to launch a new composting initiative partnered with Co-op in 2022. The project will enable volunteers to attend training sessions with aims to build local composting systems and skills for more sustainable futures.