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Food & Growing Group

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The Edible Park Project

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To find out about our latest activities in the garden please visit the Annecy Blog

The Annecy Gardens, named after one of Cheltenham's twin towns, are to the north side of Sandford Park, situated at the top end of the town's High Street. The park is one of Cheltenham's premier public spaces and has a lot of people passing through. Since 2012, the gardening group of Transition Town Cheltenham have been growing vegetables and flowers in the Annecy Gardens to create an 'edible garden'. We have been working with the Borough Council, who have been very supportive of the project, and with the costs of maintaining public space ever rising they are keen for us to take over the whole space.

Our objectives are to create an attractive & productive, organic, wildlife-friendly garden which will demonstrate how anyone can grow their own food, even in a small area. We are keen on working with nature and many of our plants are self-sown – we also save our own seed, which reduces our dependence on commercially driven seed companies. We are interested in trying out new and unusual vegetables and fruit, which may do better than conventional varieties as climate change takes hold. As part of Transition Town Cheltenham, we want to reduce dependence on fossil fuel & encourage community building & we believe that growing food locally & encouraging others to do so is the way forward.

In 2012 we won a Cheltenham in Bloom award and a Cheltenham Allotments award for the garden, which is intended to widen awareness of 'growing your own' in the town and provide a practice ground for people who are interested in starting to grow.

Annecy Team with award

The team with one of their awards

We encourage visitors to the park to help themselves to the produce when it is ready to be harvested and many people have done so and come along later to say how much they enjoyed picking fresh salad, beans or courgettes for supper on their way back from work.

We have work sessions at the Annecy Garden on Monday evenings from 6pm to 8pm from the beginning of May to the end of October. Anyone is welcome to join us; tasks tend to include weeding, planting, trimming the edges of the beds & watering. There are always people around to give advice and a lot of chatting goes on too. Helpers can expect to go home with a bag of salad or whatever delicious vegetable is ready to harvest. We hold plants sales to raise money for the development of the garden twice a year.