So what’s different about Community Growers?

Well first we want all of Sheffield to benefit, not just a few neighbourhoods or areas. Grow
Sheffield’s dream is to have all Sheffielders who wish to grow their own organic vegetables
and fruit in their own space. So Community Growers is about coaching and inspiring folk to
do it for themselves – have a go, catch the Growing Bug and pass the enthusiasm and skills
on to others.

It’s for everyone – children planting seeds and helping to water them, a group of neighbours
getting permission to cultivate a patch of land at the end of their street for herbs and
raspberries, starting to sow and grow veg in pots in July to pick in December for Xmas
dinners. It’s about encouraging everyone – old people, school children, students who may
only be renting for year or two but are itching to dig up a patch and plant a leek or two, some
who want to meet and help others. Some may have only balconies in high rise flats and start to grow tomatoes beans and strawberries in the sun, in pots; some may have large back gardens and want to share their space.

Sheffield Community Growers is about providing the expert advice, some starter materials
and tools and above all the opportunity to make growing a fun and social activity to share
with neighbours.

How did it start? First we thought – what can we do with limited resources that will eventually
help and influence the whole of the city? The Community Growers idea, based on a
successful model in Cuba (when the source of oil supplies dried up)….was attractive to the
Sheffield First Partnership for the Environment and the Council who gave us a little money
to pilot the project. We started in Sharrow and it was a success and we are now responding
to requests from other communities to start a small project or support a group to grow on a
small patch in other parts of the city.

Today we have a part time coordinator (Vanessa) a part time Community Grower for
Sharrow (Jerry) and some lovely volunteers in Sharrow and Crookes. For the rest of the
season we shall be supporting groups in Carwood, Ecclesall and Gleadless Valley and be
advertising for enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers with a few hours to spare and a
couple of expert organic veg gardeners to join a bank of sessional Community Growers.
If you are interested in any of these ideas and wish to know more, please contact Vanessa
or Jerry on 0114 258 0784 or e-mail [email protected]


GROW artist residency


The culmination of Grow Sheffield’s first Artist-In-Residence program THE IMAGINED WINTER GARDEN TRAIL took place on a cold afternoon in December 2009. The Imagined Winter Garden Trail evolved through the collaboration between artist Bob Levene and the local residents & vegetable growers of Sharrow in Sheffield.

Bob worked with five local growers to create interventions, installations and performances, which formed the backbone of the trail and was shown to the public for one afternoon only. Starting at Sure Start Centre the trail was a chance to see the gardens and growing spaces of Sharrow in a new light, it played with the unused or neglected spaces in our neighbourhood and shared the visions, achievements and memories of some of Sharrows Growers.

For more information about the project and photographs of the trail you can visit the website.


Community Growers Wordsearch Postcard



Paul Conneally was commissioned by Grow Sheffield to create a wordsearch portrait of Jerry Simon, our Sharrow Community Grower, to use as part of Community Growers’ 2010 publicity. They were printed on recycled card postcards by the Footprint Coop, which uses environmentally friendly processes and inks.