Growers Hub

Roots Allotment Community Members Donate 3,000 Portions of vegetables!

Written by
Ed Morrison
January 30, 2024

Over the last year we have partnered with Crop Drop to make sure that surplus allotment produce is allocated to those who need it most! They are a fantastic organisation of volunteers who work tirelessly to connect the dots between growing spaces and vulnerable people in our communities.

Each week they travel around the city collecting surplus produce and delivering it places like the 'Mercy in Action Pantry' and meals for the vulnerable in 'Weston Community Hub'. It is with great pride that our Bath growing communities have taken to this mini-project and been able to donate over 3,000 portions of vegetables/fruit across the 2023 growing season!

We will be partnering with similar causes up and down the country at every Roots Growing Community to help provide as much nutritionally rich food as possible to those who need it most!It’s been a pleasure working with Fiona Bell, she is a truly kind and commendable human who tirelessly goes out of her way to help others, bring growing communities together and be a massive ray of sunshine when we are having dark days.

Here’s some brilliant photos of the harvests our community was donating on a weekly basis! Fiona said that Roots was the last location of the season to be providing produce - could this be testament to the longevity of no-dig? It's certainly a nod to the incredible generosity of our community and their dedication to growing and donating their chemical-free, super veg!

It was also fantastic to receive a letter of support from Fiona about us and we hope that many people can see the good that can be achieved by creating more spaces for mixed food production, community and nature alike.


To whom it may concern

This is to commend ROOTS allotments for their contribution to the local communities of Bath & NE Somerset  (B&NES) from three perspectives:

 - as a local resident, as a founder-leader of an affordable food project and as the secretary of the B&NES Affordable Food Network.

As a local resident I have seen the ROOTS allotments at Tuckers Meadow develop over the last 16 months.  The site has changed from a plain farm field to an attractive growing space, which enhances the landscape, provokes positive conversations about growing food and encourages & enables people to start growing produce for themselves.  

I regularly travel in and out of Bath and have only seen calm, quiet operation at the site. The customers' cars are driven carefully and politely. Passers by enjoy the view of the colourful flowers and the scenes of bountiful produce.

The site is an asset to the city.

I am a founder-leader of CropDrop which connects and shares bountiful allotment produce with affordable food projects. This season ROOTS customers have been introduced to our service and encouraged to share any surplus produce for two community food projects, within 2 miles of the allotments.  

The produce shared for the last 6 weeks has helped Mercy in Action's Action Pantry provide fresh vegetables to their 100 customers experiencing food insecurity and contributed to the community meal for 30 people in Weston village.  Access to the shared produce has been facilitated with attractive, purpose-built shelves and easy collection options.  

The ROOTS customers read how their donations have helped others in weekly emails, which has encouraged them to share even more produce.  We are looking forward to this continuing into October and extending the service to other ROOTS sites as they come on stream - building cooperative links across the community.

The B&NES Affordable Food Network was formed in 2020 and is linked to the Feeding Britain network. The group of representatives from over 20 affordable food projects meets monthly to address areas of common interest. It is chaired by a member of B&NES Public Health department; I take the minutes. 

Our work connecting allotments with food projects has been commended and shared across the country.  Several affordable food projects have taken up the opportunity to try allotment growing with the help of the ROOTS team, when other allotment sites had waiting lists.  They have been well supported and are now inspired to extend and share the learning across their communities.

I can only see positive outcomes for our various B&NES communities from this new approach to allotment growing.

1) No digging needed! Your Back Will Thank You

Yes, it’s true. You’ll be picking bountiful harvests without needing to dig, turn or fork the earth! Your back will thank you because digging takes about 2 x times longer than No dig. Beds are made by covering your growing ground in cardboard and placing nutrient rich compost on top - giving you a surface that’s ready to plant straight away!

2) Less weeding 

Weeds get suppressed by the layer of cardboard and compost, they then die off because of no sunlight! If soil stays undisturbed then weeds and their seeds are more likely to stay locked into the ground instead of sprouting when disturbed on a traditionally dug allotment.

3) Feeding the soil creates healthier plants

By building yearly layers of organic matter and not disturbing the soil’s ecosystem, you will increase the amount of good microbial activity. Good microbes help plants access nutrients and water, so the healthier your soil - the healthier your plants! 

4) You’ll do less watering!

No dig beds retain moisture better because you’re introducing organic matter, not taking it away. By keeping the soil’s ecosystem in-tact and encouraging bacteria, fungi and worms to do their thing will create better layers of soil that save water for when your plants need it - instead of bare dug ground that leaks moisture! Water is a precious resource and no dig helps us make the most of every drop!

5) Higher Yields Are Scientifically proven!

No dig has been proven to produce significantly higher yields by Charles Dowding over the last 9 years at his Homeacres Farm. He has been weighing the results of identically planted dug vs no dig beds and over that time the results are 100’s of kg’s greater.

6) Reduce Single-Use Plastic! <3 The Planet!

Every harvest throughout the seasons means you’ll be totally cutting out vast amounts of single use plastic that is used in supermarket produce! The supply chains we rely on use way too much making no dig a great way to start reducing personal consumption of single use plastic.

7) Experience Less pests & diseases

The result of great soil health by the no-dig method helps good bacteria, insects and animals thrive! Using natural methods of pest control we can learn to work with nature instead of against it - a single teaspoon of healthy rich soil can contain up to 1 billion bacteria!.

8) You’ll help fungal networks and they’ll help your plants grow

Fungi are a super important part of running a productive healthy patch. When soil is full of life and undisturbed there will be miles and miles of fungal networks beneath your feet trading nutrients with each other and your plants.

9) Save time and be 40% more productive by no dig!

When you don’t need to spend hours and hours digging, turning and prepping the soil for planting, you’ll be able to spend it doing the fun creative side of gardening - planning, planting, pruning your patch to create your own edible zen garden.

As a bonus you will also feel the mental and physical boost of growing your own

Gardening and feeding yourself with incredibly fresh nutrient dense food has amazing positive side effects for both people and the planet. As time goes by you’ll feel closer and more at one with nature.