BRISTOL’S Get Growing Trail returns this month with 29 sites opening to the public for the weekend.
The trail offers everyone the chance to explore the city’s community allotments, orchards, smallholdings, mini market gardens, city farms, productive parks and even a unique berry maze.
It will be the first time since 2019 that the Get Growing Trail has taken place in June. For the last three years, the event has taken place in September, or as an online event, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Running the trail in early summer allows visitors who get inspired to get growing, enough time to get planting now and to reap the edible rewards from this growing season, rather than having to wait patiently through the autumn and winter for the next spring to come.
Bristol Food Network, which organises the trail, is welcoming some old-favourites back to the event on June 3 and 4. The New Roots Garden opens for the trail for the first time since 2018, Horfield Organic Community Orchard and Metford Road Community Orchard are joining for the first time since 2019. Fishponds Community Orchard, The Haven and Sustainable Westbury on Trym (SuSWoT) are also happily back on the trail this year after a two-year absence.
Other highlights include:
• Explore Bristol’s first dementia-friendly allotment in Brentry (as seen on Gardeners’ World) .
• Tour the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, discovering more about the exotic vegetables grown there.
• Visit Herbalists without Borders, Bristol: a community plot growing all kinds of medicinal herbs. The plot is at Ashley Vale Allotments.
The weekend offers the opportunity to learn about permaculture systems, no-dig methods, food justice and other aspects of community growing. There are so many examples of nature-friendly garde¯ning across the trail, showing that it is possible to share the city’s precious green spaces between people and wildlife, and to continue to grow productively.
Some examples include:
• Blaise Community Garden has a woodpile left undisturbed for bugs and mini beasts, plus there are beehives that focus on pollination rather than honey.
• Easton Community Garden collects its own water and makes compost and plant feeds, as well as uses permaculture methods.
• Filton Community Garden is adapting planting for dry summers.
• The Golden Hill Community Garden boasts a solar-powered pump supplying water to the allotment and has a straw bale eco house.
Full details of all 29 garden openings can be found at https://www.bristolfoodnetwork.org/blog/get-growing-garden-trail and Trail maps are available across the city.