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17th December 2020

Communigrow updates

As Kent’s leading horticultural and educational charity, we are committed to reconnecting people with organic produce and the outdoor environment – regardless of economic circumstances. Since 2014, we have been providing people with an opportunity to learn new skills, meet people, and build their confidence in a unique and welcoming environment. With the help of a dedicated team of volunteers, we grow and harvest a wide selection of chemical-free vegetables on-site for our local community.

This year we have worked to ensure our site is safe for the community. We closed our 2.4-site in Ditton to the public during the first national lockdown and reopened to a handful of volunteers in May. Since then, we have implemented measures to provide a Covid-safe environment to staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, and visitors at the field. This includes the development of our COVID-19 Strategy, limiting on-site capacity, social distancing, and installing new hand-washing facilities. We also introduced a mask requirement earlier this month for volunteers working in polytunnels and groups.

As this year draws to an end, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the significant achievements we have made over the past few months.

In March, we received the RHS Five Star Gardening School recognition for growing a range of plants throughout the year, understanding environmental issues and engaging actively with local communities while passing on skills to others.

During the summer, we launched Communigrow’s Home Education programme, which gave children a unique opportunity to learn and appreciate nature, food, and the world around them. The weekly sessions – which run every Tuesday for two different age groups – are set to finish December and resume in Spring. Further information can be found on our website and social media.

In August, we were awarded the Wilder Kent Award by the Kent Wildlife Trust – an achievement that we are all very honoured and proud of. The award recognises schools are community groups that are taking positive actions to help combat climate and nature crisis.

We hosted our annual socially distanced open day in October to showcase our positive work to the community. Despite the wet conditions, visitors turned out to show their support and learn more about the work of the charity. We raised more than £160 through the sale of our vegetable boxes and donations – which has been invested into educational programmes for schools and community groups.

The field will still be open to visitors with enhanced measures in place. Our Veg Box scheme has proved very popular this year as people have sought alternative ways to access organic produce locally. Currently, the variety of vegetables we have on offer is slightly reduced due to the winter season, but orders can still be made by phone or email. Call 075 4643 7272 or email to register your interest.

We are always looking for volunteers to offer their help whenever they can. We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm. If you would like to pay us a visit or offering a helping hand, email to book a slot in advance or request further information.

The field will be closed between 29th and 31st Dec.

We would like to wish everyone at Communigrow and the residents of Ditton a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Vegetable Selection