Do you feel ever feel that ‘somebody needs to do something about this’? About anything at all, from picking up litter to sorting out the parking problems in town. It may not be possible to ‘do something’ about everything, but we have some pertinent suggestions for ways to make a really useful difference… starting with a quick Incredible Edible Dumfries history!
We find it hard to believe, but it is now well over 6 years since we set up Incredible Edible Dumfries. Our first open meeting was held in November 2012 and then our first activity and planting session at the NCP plot one cold day in April 2013 (it snowed on us!). Since then, we have achieved many good things: we have transformed numerous spots and plots around the town, planting Edible magic and bringing colour and interest as well as opportunities for ‘helping yourself’. We have met and worked with many special individuals, spoken to a wide range of groups and organisations, created promotional fliers, posters and plot signage… and we feel that we now have a recognised identity within the town. The question is… will we still be around in another 6 year’s time?
When Rosie and I first embarked on this journey, we didn’t really have a clear idea of where we were going; just that we perceived it to be a good community project, with much potential for transformation, and it was a grand mix of plotting, planning, attending meetings and getting our hands (quite literally) dirty. For myself, it certainly offered and delivered a lot of satisfaction and joy which were rather lacking in my 9-5 job. We are both really proud of what we have achieved, and also of the number of people who we have been able to include on the journey. We now have people who bring us plants; people who ask for assistance in sourcing plants; people who help us to transport manure; people who help out with watering when the weather is dry….. and we have several plots which have their own small, enthusiastic team to tend and maintain them. We have learned a lot too… what sort of spots will work best, what sort of edibles are most suited to public planting etc.
We know that we have a good following…. We gave away 50kg of seed potatoes this spring for local people to have a go at growing something edible for themselves. We also regularly get very positive feedback from passers-by when we are out on a gardening task.
We also know that there is potential for even more… work with school or community groups, for example, or perhaps reaching out to those working with older people or with disabilities and looking at ways of working together.
However, just keeping track of the basics – fixing up dates and times for gardening sessions in our public town centre plots – is becoming more than the two of us can cope with alone alongside our many other commitments. We feel we have reached a point where we would hugely benefit from some more input from others just to keep what we do sustainable.
So, yes, this is a plea for some help….. We would of course be delighted to see more people turn out for our plot planting/weeding/maintenance sessions – a few extra hands always make a big difference to what we can achieve in a couple of hours. However, more specifically at this time, we would really appreciate some ‘behind the scenes’ assistance, which would not require any lifting of a trowel or dirt in the fingernails! Scheduling work parties, distributing posters/fliers, keeping our facebook group more active and interesting… these are all possible tasks that would make a big difference to us. We are also aware that our website is quite limited and is overdue an overhaul and would love to hear some someone with the skills and time to assist with that task.
If you like what we do and could offer some time to join the Incredible Edible Dumfries team, then please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org), message us ion facebook or via this website … or find us in the town! You might also have ideas of your own for improving our communications etc, or maybe you know just the person for the job if you are not able to offer help yourself – please don’t be shy about making suggestions.
Thank you for reading this far! We hope to hear from you.
Jill Asher and Rosie Rutherford
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