Roots Allotments Coming To Stourbridge!
We are coming to the Stourbridge area and wanted to release a statement on what we hope to achieve with our newly launching growing community and the good vibes projects that we can facilitate in the surrounding locality.
Roots mission is to make growing food more accessible by opening new allotments on agricultural land. We think that by enabling people to grow their own food on fields that have classically not benefited the local populace around them, will help us develop a deeper understanding of the care, time and energy needed that goes into food production. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an everyday citizen sowing seeds, or a farmer, we can all contribute towards food security by taking up growing no matter how big or small.
The land we have chosen in Stourbridge has been conventionally farmed in the past and shows the typical signs to us of soil degradation from being ploughed previously. We have been told that the field has previously grown single variety crops of potatoes, wheat, barley and oats to name a few. Now the land has the chance to grow a hugely diverse range of crops and create a longer lasting benefit for those who come to grow on it and also for the natural world which will get a boost from the establishing of a wildflower meadow, fruit & nut orchard, and the multiple habitats from wild bee hives to bat boxes that we aim to set up with the community once they are growing and the space is open.
The organic matter in our Stourbridge site's soil currently sits at around 2.5% which is the same level we encounter when viewing and testing many of the conventionally farmed prospective sites up and down the UK. Prime food growing conditions should have an organic matter rating of 9-12%. We’ve looked at samples under the microscope and they are lacking key fundamental structures that would indicate an intact and healthy soil food web.
Over time as we increase the organic matter percentage by following no-dig growing techniques we should see an increase in yields and also nutritional content of the produce grown because we are allowing the soil to recover with minimal disturbance.
On top of creating a space for people to grow their own food and connect with other like minded members of their local area. We will also be offering free patches to local schools, community groups and charities so we can begin to inspire and educate more children and adults to grow their own.
If anyone reading this knows of an organisation/charity/school who could benefit from a patch please get in contact with us on email@example.com. We also offer a 25% discount to any blue sirens workers (+ NHS & militarily), students, and those on income support.
If you are interested in getting a patch, click here to sign up to the pre reg list and grab yourself a patch at 6:00PM Friday 1st September!
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.
Other relevant blogs
Council Rejects Allotments On Outskirts of Bristol
Open letter to North Somerset From Roots Supporters
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