Edinburgh Growing Together
Edinburgh Growing Together is a project delivered by Edible Estates, funded by City of Edinburgh Council and by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
In 2021, Edinburgh Council contracted Edible Estates to deliver community gardening support services to council estates across the city. Edible Estates is a not for profit organisation which has been building and managing community gardens across the city for many years.
In 2022, Edible Estates carried out a survey of all forty six community growing projects on council housing land – from small ones with a couple of raised beds outside a tower block to large ‘neighbourhood gardens’ with growing beds for 70 or more growers. Whilst many gardens were doing well, the survey found some which would benefit from support. The survey also identified a number of estates that don’t currently community gardens but which could likely support one.
The survey findings provided the basis for the development of a multi-year programme to support existing gardens and develop new gardens which started in Autumn 2022. The support services are tailored to gardens’ specific needs, as directed by, and in liaison with its volunteers and/or management groups, council officers, and local third-party organisations.
Delivery of the support package has now started. This includes physical improvements to gardens such as renovation of raised beds, installation of water supplies and improving composting facilities. A lot of this work is conducted by Growing Youth, a social enterprise that educates young people in horticulture and construction. Community gardeners are being employed to train up new growers and increase participation. Organisational support to garden members is also included, to ensure gardens can be managed collaboratively by participants.