What it’s like to volunteer at a community garden

What it’s like to volunteer at a community garden

This is the Preston Park Demonstration Garden. We’ve got apple trees, artichokes, herbs … … and this side we’ve got raspberries, rhubarb, I came down after I’d had a whole knee-replacement … … and I needed to get out because I was just sitting indoors, … doing nothing – just getting lazy! If it’s raining … … okay, you wrap up warm, … we’ve got the shed where we make our tea, shelter there, sit down It’s done me the world of good – the fresh air; the people are great, y’know … I’ve just learnt a hell of a lot Everyone who comes up here is on an equal footing – straight away If there’s any leftover stuff then the volunteers can take it home I think it’s more important to make sure that you’re getting out side in the winter … … so it’s nice to be keeping warm with the kind of ‘heavier jobs’! If anyone’s having a cup of tea and trying to keep warm – we’ll still be here. We’re “Fork & Dig It” and we run a Community Garden. We work on just over two acres of organic land growing fruit & vegetables. We’re open a couple of days every week – open to the community to come and join us .. “Shall we get those tomatoes out first?” “Yes” I’m a great believer in ‘the Power of Gardening’ There are people from all kinds of backgrounds who come up … … and all ages, … and other people who are just getting away from their desks & screens and doing some Proper Work! We always have a shared lunch where we encourage people to eat the food that we’re growing up here. Welcome to The Secret Garden! We’re here to try and transform this place behind an old church … … which was overgrown & unused and abandoned, … for a Community Garden that the whole community can enjoy! You meet a really wide range and mix of people, not just old people(!) … … and it’s great! there’s something for everybody and you can learn from everybody, so … … all you construction workers out there, in your spare time come here … … so you’re awy from the tarmac for a bit! So Chris is bringing her bee-keeping skills and we’ve had our first crop of honey … … which is absolutely wonderful! And we’ve also had people construct the greenhouses for us: – I wouldn’t have had a clue about that! We’ve had people building fences for us, around our pond … … and in fact we’ve had volunteers from schools doing heavy labour jobs, like digging out the pond for us … … which has been brilliant! And we need all sorts from the community. There are lots of different places you can just drop in, go and have a chat The wonderful thing about Community Gardens is most people are real enthusiasts and … … and they love to tell you what’s happening! And it’s really nice actually when people are interested in what you’re doing. We’re here to help people learn – to share that knowledge of how to grow your own food. So skills aren’t necessary – just come up and get involved!


  • Mad Cary says:

    Really good overview of Community Gardening. Very nicely put together. Madeleine from the LONDON RD STATION PARTNERSHIP

  • Mary Chapman says:

    Great film, I am from the Preston Park demo garden

  • Luke Flegg says:

    This project really was a joy to be involved in and I can't wait to do more filming with you guys! Thank you for this opportunity; it's why I do what I do : )


  • John Ridland says:

    I am writing from Santa Barbara, California, which has a splendid Farmers Market but nothing like the Community Gardening that the BHFP encourages. We should do it. Congratulations to all of you, who do.

  • James Beasley says:

    Great to see the ever present Luke Flegg has made a nice video for you. We aim to promote OurPatch's developments too. Loved this video. Nice music too.

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