Can you help Chorlton Plant Swap & Gardening Advice support more people to grow edible and ornamental plants, spend less money, look after the environment, learn about growing and look after their mental health?
Set up in 2008, Chorlton Plant Swap now has a thriving Facebook group that's doubled in size during Coronavirus, helping people get free seeds and plants by swapping with others. We also support people who are just getting started and don't have any swaps as they'll come back later to share what they've grown :-)
We have a wealth of information among us, regularly giving each other advice on what and how to grow and how to deal with weeds, pests and diseases in environmentally-friendly ways.
Our growing number of 'How to' guides are not easily accessible on our Facebook group and really need to be on a website, where we can also give information to people not using Facebook. Here we can also have a gallery of inspiring photos from the popular themed virtual garden visits run during Covid including vegetable gardens, recycling in the garden and even our own 'Best in Show' competition.
The website will also have a local focus, sharing recommendations for local independent plant nurseries and gardeners, as well as telling people about our future live swap events.
A thrifty vegetable gardening booklet is being produced to further inspire and support people to grow their own food without breaking the bank, and in harmony with nature to care for the environment. All the writing and editing is voluntary, and the funding is to print paper copies for easier reference than on the website. It will also be available chapter by chapter for download on the website for anyone anywhere to download. Copies will be made available to local foodbanks to share with clients.
There are so many benefits to growing your own food and flowers, and being part of a local swap group:
- the fresh air and getting your hands dirty in contrast to the online life so many of us also lead have a positive impact on mental and physical health
- the satisfaction of eating food you have grown yourself
- reducing expenditure with swaps and thrifty gardening tips
- interacting with others
- care for the environment with less travel to nurseries and re-use of plastic pots
Here is just one example of feedback from a member:
“Not only has the group improved my garden, gardening most evenings has been great for my mental health (productivity! the wonder and beauty of life!) and the act of actually swapping the plants has provided me with an incentive to get out and about on my bike. I've also really enjoyed my interactions with some of the swappers, having lovely over the fence socially distanced chats with people I might not otherwise have met. Thanks everyone!"
Big thanks to everyone who can help us grow (pun intended) our ability to support more people with more great thrifty gardening support.