Little Veg Libraries are now popping up in some libraries for residents to take seeds to grow at home – great for first-time gardeners or to plant with children and watch them grow.
Brynmawr, Abertillery and Tredegar are three of the first libraries to participate in the scheme by Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership and Blaenau Gwent Libraries. Each veg library includes ‘pick and mix’ pots filled with different seeds as well as envelopes that families can fill with seeds of their choice to take home.
“The idea is for people to have a go at growing some veg at home in response to the recent food shortages and spiralling food prices. Hopefully, there is something for everyone with varying levels of difficulty” said Chris Nottingham, sustainable food co-ordinator for Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership.
The seeds include cress, lettuce, beetroot, carrot, peas, runner, and broad beans. While the runner beans, broad beans and peas may require support, the other seeds are easy to grow at home, in pots or the garden.
If it goes well at these libraries, Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership hopes to roll out Little Veg Libraries to the other Blaenau Gwent libraries.
Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership, set up in 2021, is a cross-sector body working to support Blaenau Gwent to become a Sustainable Food Place.
The partnership includes Tai Calon Community Housing, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Natural Resources Wales.
The group collaborates with communities, businesses and institutions to tackle health, poverty, local economy and environmental issues.
“We want to support the transition to a food system that connects communities at every stage, from production to consumption, making good food a simple option for every resident,” said Mr Nottingham.
Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership also offers ten small grants of £150 to community groups for Plant and Share month, run by Food For Life Get Togethers. Grants are to help organise events to get people growing their own veg at home.
To find out more, visit their website https://bgfoodpartnership.co.uk/