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Could vegetables help a community to grow?

Growing Winter Vegetable in Splott is not just about growing garden, it also plays a role of growing the sense of community.

Growing Vegetables links people in Splott together.

People in Splott could find a way to build community through growing vegetables in their gardens, thanks to a community event held at the local library.

As a part of the community project named Growing Street Talk, Growing Winter Vegetable doesn’t simply support people in designing, planting techniques to improve front gardens, also it is a small step to build links between neighbours further for promoting community engagement around issues.

Liz Court, one of founders of Growing Street Talk, said, “The workshops are for inspiring people, to get them to think about their streets, to connect people through the work. When people start talking about the streets together, issues will come up. We want people come together and form a mini gardening club, but for more influence.”

Growing Street Talk has held a range of community activities according to people’s votes.

Liz has worked in community development for over 25 years and she believes the relationship between community and council is complex.

“From my perspective, community development is a political process, about challenging injustice, inequality, about empowering people to make them feel they can change,” she said.

Jane Henshaw, labour councillor for Splott and Tremorfa, believes the Growing Street Project benefit people in Splott. “As the ward Councillor, I really value the Growing Street Project. During this punishing period of austerity, communities like mine are particularly badly affected.This project accesses money that we, as councillors cannot access,” she said.

People are voting for activities which might be held by Growing Street Talk.

As a diverse and multicultural ward in Cardiff, almost 20,000 people live in Splott. Their nationalities, religions, socioeconomic levels vary from person to person and the willingness to integrate with the community is also different.

“Any way to meet people in the community is what I want to do, and I especially like the focus on making gardens full of edible plants because you can grow, and you can eat,” says Ross, an American participant of the activity, just moved to Splott a month ago.

People write down their religion for Liz.

However, not everyone in the community is like Ross and Liz still has a long way to build tighter community connection.  “We want to reach certain group that are harder to reach. For example, some groups have a lot of social events as a culture and we need to do different things to reach them,” Liz said.