Do you love the taste of freshly picked organic carrots, lettuce, tomatoes,..but don’t own your own allotment?
Would you like to grow your own food but don’t know where to start?
Do you like juicy organic blackberries, strawberries and cherries?
Do you enjoy being outdoors and spend time with enthusiastic and experienced volunteer food growers?
Then Southcote GrowAllot is the place for you! A community allotment based at Florian Gardens, Southcote, Reading, Berkshire, where everybody is welcome to lend a hand andall the produce is shared among the volunteers.
No experience necessary and all tools will be provided, as well as tea, coffees and refreshments to enjoy a deserved break under our gazebo.
Southcote GrowAllot started in 2012 as a Food4families project in partnership with the Big Lottery, to revitalise a patch of wasteland behind the Florian Garden flats in Southcoteand provide a community space to grow and share organic crops; it has a number of beds, including raised beds, polytunnel, toolshed, log cabin, gazebo with table and chairs, compost heaps, rain water butts and an orchard.
It is entirely run by volunteers and managed by a committee that plan the crops, purchase seeds, compost, tools, etc..and organise events.
Workshops, learning sessions, corporate volunteer days, open days and stalls are run regularly throughout the year, including Southcote May Fair and Reading Town Meal; awards have been won at "Reading in Bloom" and "Thames and Chiltern in bloom" in the last few years
Volunteer Annalisa Cavallini says “Some people are put off by the workload and commitment that an allotment requires; but at Southcote GrowAllot all the tasks are shared and the company of other volunteers makes it fun; a session also improves fitness levels, boosts mood and promotes healthy eating"
Volunteer Pete Chan says "Going to Florian Gardens is a pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning, it is sociable, it is a way to learn about gardening with like-minded people and get some exercise, with the added bonus of fresh organic free vegetables to take home"
Volunteer Adela Nistora says "I only eat organic and local food, I have always considered growing my own but managing an allotment all by myself is too daunting a task; FlorianGardens allows me to grow my vegs with advice, help and company from others; people here are passionate about food growing and the atmosphere is always friendly and relaxed as everybody enjoys their time here"
Southcote GrowAllot is entirely funded by grants, donations and membership fees; membership is not compulsory, but should you wish to become a member (£8 per year) you can request your own keys (£8 refundable deposit) to gain access to the allotment outside opening hours.
Membership is open to all adults, aged 17yrs & over, children must be accompanied by an adult. New members always welcome, as well as fruit, vegetable, herbs and flowers suggestions. Southcote GrowAllot is located at Florian Gardens (entrance by the recycle bins at the Virginia Way end of the flats); public sessions, open to everybody, are held on Wednesdays 2pm-4pm, Saturdays 10am-1pm and Sundays 2-4pm.