Free veg’ is sprouting up in Farnham this summer thanks to a group of community-minded gardeners who have been planting a selection of tasty edible plants in containers outside South Street Sainsbury’s. It’s one of the many gardening related projects taking place for Farnham in Bloom 2017.

All the gardeners are Farnham allotment holders and are supporting the Incredible Edible initiative, a movement which aims to increase the amount of local food grown and eaten in towns.

“This is just the sort of project that Farnham in Bloom is all about. The containers will look really attractive as the plants grow, and show people how easy it is to grow your own. The produce is there to be eaten so shoppers are very welcome to help themselves – in fact, we hope they do,” says Councillor Stephen Hill, Lead Member for Farnham in Bloom.

“As well as thanking the gardeners for giving up their time to do the planting, I’m grateful to our sponsors, Farnham Specsavers, whose support helps us to purchase the plants we need for these sorts of projects,” says Cllr Hill.

The plants include chillies, tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, chard, onions, beetroot and French beans. Edible flowers – nasturtiums and marigolds – have also been planted along with other popular allotment flowers.

Farnham’s community growing project was inspired by its twin town Andernach which has been a pioneer of the edible city initiative since 2010.

In 2016 Incredible Edible Hale was set up by a small group of volunteers to support Farnham in Bloom. Three planters have been positioned along the Upper Hale Road and planted with vegetable and herb seeds and seedlings. Local residents are invited to harvest and enjoy the produce.

Farnham in Bloom, which is organised by Farnham Town Council and the Farnham in Bloom Community Group aims to get better and better so check the council’s website, www.farnham.gov.uk/bloom for details of what’s happening. Volunteers are needed throughout the year to make Farnham in Bloom a success. Contact Farnham Town Council if you think you can help.

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