latest news

Introducing… The Polite Pruners!!

Do you have trees that are in need of a bit of prune, or know someone that does? Looking for a service that is ecological, respectful and trustworthy? Well we are delighted to introduce…
Polite Pruners– a new enterprise started by Abundance and Grow Sheffield regulars James and Daniele! Now is the season to get pruning, so get in touch to  give your trees to a New Years treat!



Want somebody to look after your trees in a

sensitive and respectful way?

We are ecologically-minded tree pruners,

specialising in fruit tree work.

  • We have over 5 years experience working with fruit trees, including running workshops as part of Grow Sheffield’s Abundance project.
  • We practise the ‘art’ of pruning trees for the health of the tree, to encourage direction of growth and to improve quantity and quality of the harvest.
  • We use hand tools where possible for precision and safety (and for peacefulness!)
  • We are friendly and reliable…and always polite!
  • We aim to be as eco-sensitive as possible, travelling by bike if there is no load to carry, making sure ‘waste’ goes onto another use (compost or firewood), and most of all, working with the tree rather than against it.

For general enquiries or if you would like to request

a quote please email [email protected].

Alternatively you can phone Daniele on 07535653842 or James on 07422575853


Allotment Soup is back!!







We’re back at Manor Allotments this September 20th for our annual creative and artistic harvest celebration….and you’re all invited!!

Allotment Soup is an annual creative and artistic harvest celebration that takes place on a different Sheffield allotment site each year.
Plot holders open up their plots to the public and to host an artwork, performance, or event on the day.

Artists, poets and performers are invited to create original artwork in response to the site, theme and season.

You are all invited to join us from 12:00 at Manor Allotments!
When the site opens you will be able to visit the allotments and see the wonderful produce being grown, from cabbages to calaloo and from potatoes to pigeon peas. You will also find many different forms of art, such as paintings and photographs, circus performers and musicians, but also poets and storytellers. There will also be lots of activities for children.

Tasty food will be served as well as the traditional Allotment Soup and there will be drinks and snacks available throughout the afternoon.

In the evening there will be live music and a campfire, weather permitting.

Click here for flyer: AS2015 Poster Final

Facebook event:

Exciting new volunteer opportunity!

Are you looking for an opportunity to gain or deepen your experience of volunteer management?

Are you a confident and skilled person who is comfortable in maintaining regular contact with volunteers?

We are looking for a Volunteers Coordinator.  In this demanding volunteer role you carry out a wide range of tasks which include helping to recruit, place, manage, develop and retain volunteers in all our projects including Abundance and Sheffield Food Network. In order to do this, you will work closely with the Grow Sheffield co-ordinators and the Abundance coordinator to assess our needs, write and update volunteer opportunities and advertise on a number of recruitment platforms, including social media.

Working with existing policies and procedures, this role involves keeping in contact with volunteers and making sure that they are on track to complete their tasks, and that they are happy with their volunteer experience. This contact will be maintained through email, phone and face to face meetings.

You will make first contact with new volunteers and make sure that our needs complement the needs and skills of the volunteer. You will also ensure that all volunteers are properly supported.

This role gives you the opportunity to keep up-to-date with legislation and policy related to volunteering, and you will be able to update our Board of directors (core team) on requirements for our volunteer care policies and procedures. To be able to do this role and fully benefit from the experience, you should be able to spend the equivalent of at least one day based in our office, which is in Sharrow, close to the city.

You will need to have good communication and IT skills, have some experience in working in the voluntary sector and people supervision. You must have a mature and proactive approach to work and be able and willing to work mostly on your own initiative.

For more information or to request an application form, email: [email protected] or contact Emily Clark on 0114 258 0784 (Please note that we work part time and so might not always get back to you straight away!)


FREE Fruit Tree grafting workshops

So, its March already, and Spring seems to have usurped Winter from its icy throne, temporarily at least…Like me you may be quite sceptical that Winter has given up the ghost completely but it seems the plants and trees are willing to gamble on it. What this all means to the pragmatists here at Abundance HQ is that we need to buck up our ideas a little, stop hibernating and do some grafting….fruit tree grafting, that is!
If you’re interested in learning the art of fruit tree grafting, in identifying your rootstock from your scion, your M26 from your St Julian A and having a go at doing it yourself, then look no further.
We’ll be running a number of open workshops on how to graft apple, plum, and cherry trees using the ‘whip and tongue’ technique throughout March and into April. The workshops are FREE and you will get to take your own tree home with you if you help us graft some more – we’re aiming to graft around 600 trees this year!
What to bring:
> Graftwood: The apple of your eye! If you’ve always wanted to propagate a special apple, plum or cherry tree then nows your chance. Bring graftwood to a session and make some baby trees with it. If you’re unsure how to take cuttings from said tree, check out thisyoutube video.
> Warm clothes: We will probably be outside for the session (with shelter), so please anticipate a cold day.
> Something to eat and/or drink: If you’re coming for the whole day (which is ideal) you may want to bring a packed lunch.

Below are the dates for the workshops. If you’d like to attend any of them please book a place by emailing or phoning me so I have an idea of numbers, as places are limited. N.B. Session dates are subject to change – there may also be more added.

Saturday 8th, 10am – 4pm: Greave House Farm Volunteer Day.
For instructions on how to get to the farm you can look at their website here. 


Wednesday 12th, 1pm – 5pm: Student EATS session, The Huerta (behind Yorkshire Artspace, Brown Street, S1)

Sunday 16th, 12pm – 5pm: Public session, School For Vegetables, Grimesthorpe Allotments (see events calendar for full address)


Saturday 22nd, 11am – 5pm: Public session, venue TBC


Sunday 30th, 12pm – 5pm: Public session, Meersbrook Allotments


Saturday 5th, 11am – 5pm: Public session, Meersbrook Allotments

Shelf Life Art Exhibition- Michael Borkowsky

Michael Borkowsky has contacted us about his forthcoming solo exhibition at the Gage Gallery (Part of Kelham Island Arts Co-Operative) in Sheffield, from 28/02/14 – 12/03/14.

‘Shelf Life’ explores the role of food in art. It seeks to re-imagine the genre of still life painting in order to make it relevant and accessible in the 21st Century – encouraging a questioning of what we perceive as holding value and highlighting how our experiences should not be dictated by vision. I also acknowledge how food and art are able to inform each other as they run parallel in our consumer culture.

A primary concern of mine is the practice of paint making – and the tension between the possibility of raw paint and the notion that meaning can be extracted from raw paint before it has been applied to a surface. My Paint Making Workshop will give participants the opportunity to create paints of their own – using food and egg yolk. I begin by discussing my work, before giving a working demonstration of the paint making process. After a refreshment break the participants will be able to create paints of their own and apply them to a surface.

Carbon Conversations Discussion Groups coming up in Sheffield

Carbon Conversations – next discussion groups start in March/April

Climate change is making itself felt but many people remain uncertain what they can do to cut carbon emissions in their day-to-day lives. Carbon Conversations is a series of 6 meetings (3 weeks apart) that covers topics like energy, transport, food and waste.

 The conversations bring people together in a friendly way to learn about the scientific views and share ideas about what we can all do in our homes and work-places. The approach is informal and non-judgemental and is now being run by volunteers in cities across the country. The cost of the series is £20 per person, to cover handbook and teas/coffees (£25 for a couple sharing a handbook.)


Comments from recent Sheffield participants:

“The board games were enjoyable and brought issues to light in a memorable and interesting way.”

“I enjoyed the sharing and the no-guilt approach.”

“Coming together with people from different backgrounds was eye opening and encouraging.”

You can find more information about Carbon Conversations at:

Aquaponics Pilot Project

 Sean and Cies-jan are keen to set up an aquaponics project in Sheffield and are looking for a plot of land to set up a polytunnel (20ft x 36ft) to begin a pilot project. Here’s what Sean had to say about it all:
Me and my friend Cies-jan are looking to set up an aquaponics project in Sheffield. In case you are not familiar with aquaponics, here is a brief description courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Aquaponics is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture, (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks), with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrogen-fixing bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients. The water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.”I have a background in permaculture, sustainable technology, growing veggies and working with adults with learning disabilities. Cies-jan has 10 years experience working with fish and has trained in animal care. And we’re generally pleasant people.

Finding a suitable site is our first challenge. Would you be able to help us find a spot to stick up a 20ft x 36ft polytunnel to start a pilot project?

So, if you have a suitable site available and fancy some tasty greens and herbs and fish produced on your land, please get in touch. Contact us here at Grow Sheffield – [email protected] – and we’ll put you in touch with Sean.

Common Ground

Common Ground Community Garden is in Nether Edge (where St Peter’s church used to be on Machon Bank) and has been going for just over a year now. Morwenna from the group gave us this report on progress and latest news:

As we embark upon our second growing season we’re keen to encourage people from the local community to pop down and have a go at growing something this year! We’re going to be part of Sheffield on a Plate and a world record attempt aiming to create the world’s biggest sustainable stew, which could feed over 5000 people.

We’re having a big event on 1st March, 2pm-5pm in partnership with Nether Edge Neighbourhood Group (NENG). It’s a party for all the community and last year it was a big hit! Common Ground Hall needs as much support as it can get at the moment so please pop down, learn about the hall, the garden and the local community and see how you can get involved.

We meet every Saturday morning, 10am-12noon, new volunteers and anyone interested in finding out more can come along. And get the latest updates at our Facebook page.

common ground bedscommon ground banner

Job Opportunities with Grow Sheffield

Grow Sheffield Co-ordinators Vacancies

This is an exciting opportunity for two people to work in a small team to continue GS’ projects to March 2015. The co-ordinator roles cover a wide range of tasks and responsibilities at both operational and strategic levels. These include: overview of GS’ projects – currently Sheffield on A Plate, Abundance, Community Growers and the Sheffield Food Network and others as they come on stream; ensuring that the day to day functioning of the organisation is fulfilled efficiently – budgeting, staff and volunteer matters, communications and marketing.

We would like 2 people to cover these responsibilities according to their individual skills experience and interest. The initial contract will be for a year, and the hours available are 14 per week (2 days). These will be allocated approximately evenly between two people (approx 1 day each), the exact tasks and responsibilities will be agreed after appointment between the role holders, the rest of the small GS team and the core team (management committee).The salary will be pro-rata to £24,000 per annum (full time 35 hour week)

It is essential that applicants have proven experience in at least two of the stated responsibilities, experience in working in the voluntary sector and a flexible approach to working in a small non-hierarchical team. Ideally, applicants should also demonstrate understanding/experience of business building, artistic engagement within community projects, and fundraising.

To receive more information and an application pack please contact Coralie on [email protected]

The closing date for applications is midday on Friday 31st January.

Sheffield Seed Swap in February

It’s our 3rd year in a row of February seed swapping at Heeley City Farm. Everyone is welcome – bring home-saved seeds to swap if you have them but don’t worry if you don’t – there’ll be plenty of seeds available for donation, including a massive assortment of weird and wonderful seeds from the seed bank of the late Richard Clare.

Entrance is free but donations for seeds are welcome. The farm cafe will be open serving hot drinks, food and cake.

Saturday 22nd February, 12-3pm

Heeley City Farm, Richards Rd, S2 3DT.

Organic Food Growing Masterclasses

The Soil Association Organic Farm School at Wortley Hall Walled Garden presents a series of masterclasses with tutor Darrell Maryon.

The sessions will cover:  Sat 22nd March- SOIL; Sat 29th March- COMPOST; Sat 5th April- PROPAGATION; Sat 12th April- CROPS; Sat 26th April- HERBS and WILDLIFE; Sat 3rd May- FRUIT.

They will cost £15/person/session or £75 for all 6 sessions.

For more information contact Darrell on: [email protected] or 07768 932613

Please note- Advance booking is essential


Get Growing at Meersbrook Park Community Walled Garden

With allotment rents on the rise Heeley City Farm Local Food Team is offering its expertise and experience on this one day course to help you make the most of your allotment (or other garden space) to grow an abundance of food.  The vegetable garden at Meersbrook Park Community Garden is the same size and soil type as a typical garden in Sheffield, perfect for demonstrating effective ways of managing your plot.  The course will be pitched to beginners and those with limited gardening experience.

For more information contact Darrell Maryon on [email protected] or 07768 932613.

Please note- Advance booking is essential