One of the biggest challenges for community food-growing projects is finding volunteers. Big Dig is a project to help you find and keep volunteers to make sure your food-growing project is a success in the long-term.
In Greater Manchester Big Dig is being run by the Kindling Trust, and we want to help as many growing projects as possible find new volunteers. We'll be doing this by co-ordinating 3 major events:
The Big Dig Edible Gardens Open Day, Saturday, September 15th – a national open day for food-growing projects to show off their sites and let volunteers know how they can help.
The Big Dig, March 2013 - a practical volunteering day for food-growing projects to open their doors and welcome volunteers in.
The Big Dig Eat, July 2013 – a day of BBQ's and picnics using home-grown veg, and an opportunity for growing projects to say thank you to their volunteers
We'll also be organising a number of workshops/training sessions:
Land access and tenancy agreements
Organic growing techniques
Basic finance for community growing projects
Crop planning for selling to a community café/food project
Apple tree grafting
We can arrange support from the Land Army - a group of volunteers who will visit your project for half a day to help with the big jobs, like clearing an area, building raised beds or harvesting.
And we will be holding a 'Becoming a market gardener' training series and developing an apprenticeship scheme for people who are interested in becoming professional organic growers.
When you become a participating garden Big Dig will support you by providing:
- free publicity for the open days - locally but also national, regional and city-wide
- training on volunteer management
- advice on how to hold a succesful open day
- free training events throughout the year
- a small contribution to help hold your open day (on a first-come, first-served basis) - e.g. for refreshements or seeds
So please get in touch if you would like to sign up to be a Big Dig community garden!
If you have any suggestions for how we could support you or would like more information about Big Dig contact Kirstin on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to meeting you!