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Bristol Get Growing Trail 2021
September 18, 2021 - September 19, 2021
Now in its ninth year, Bristol Food Network’s Get Growing Trail returns for a harvest-themed weekend with 22 of Bristol’s fruit and vegetable gardens throwing open their gates on 18th and 19th September. The Trail offers the perfect opportunity for families and friends to explore the city’s community allotments, orchards, smallholdings, mini market gardens, city farms and productive parks in a safe way.
Growing has improved many aspects of mental and physical health for the city’s citizens during the pandemic and helped us feel more peaceful and content and often better in the moment. Jeff from Bridge Farm says: “Some of us have got really green fingers, some of us less so, but we’re all learning all the time from each other. The sense of well-being and self-empowerment you get from growing food, you cannot beat it!” Bridge Farm is a new addition to the Get Growing Trail.
As in previous years, gardens on the Trail will be highlighting their nature-friendly growing methods and approaches with a wealth of tips, ideas and insights for visitors to take back and share at their own plot, garden or even window box. All in a bid to support and encourage more nature-friendly growing in the city.
June is when the city’s community growing spaces have previously opened for the Get Growing Trail. With the event cancelled in June 2020 and with the situation still unclear for the usual June 2021 Trail, Bristol Food Network (BFN) instead hosted a digital version of the Trail in June 2021, showcasing some of the amazing growing sites around the city digitally. Groups sent in ‘homemade’ short videos which BFN stitched together into this short film.
With Covid-19 lockdowns restricting peoples’ movements, gyms closing and indoor socialising spaces limited, spending time in the garden, park or allotment has been an important way for Bristol’s citizens to keep mentally and physically healthy during the pandemic. Many groups will be welcoming visitors to their sites for the first time since the pandemic begun – an opportunity to connect with each other through nature, while continuing to be safe.
The lockdowns prompted a lot of people to Get Growing for the first time, and this has inevitably had a knock-on effect in the increasing numbers on allotment waiting lists. Getting involved in community growing offers people another way to Get Growing – and to learn amongst others in a supportive, friendly environment.
As well as garden tours, this year’s September Trail includes seed sowing, fun games for kids, apple juice-making, the opportunity to pick up some new plants and fresh produce, delicious lunch and snack stops, wildlife-friendly gardening tips, and Bristol’s first fully wheelchair-accessible dementia-friendly allotment.