St Albans residents urged to grow food at home during coronavirus pandemic

Naomi Distill from FoodSmiles St Albans.

Naomi Distill from FoodSmiles St Albans. - Credit: Archant

Residents are being encouraged to grown their own food during the coronavirus lockdown.

A St Albans FoodSmiles member sowing seeds.

A St Albans FoodSmiles member sowing seeds. - Credit: Archant

FoodSmiles St Albans, Grow Community Sopwell and Plot 31 have joined forces to grow at least one edible crop at home as part of the One Plant Promise campaign.

Participants are invited to register with a short online survey and will receive a monthly email full of growing tips and information. Everyone is asked to join in on FoodSmiles St Albans Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Naomi Distill from community food growing project FoodSmiles St Albans said: “During the lockdown many garden supply shops are closed, and equipment for growing may not be easily available. It’s so easy to grow your own food and we will share advice on social media and by email, to encourage people to start growing using basic materials they have at home. You can grow in a pot, a growbag or in the ground; outdoors or indoors on the windowsill. From lettuce to spinach, basil to runner beans, there’s so much to choose from.

“Our food systems play into many of the world’s biggest problems – pollution, waste, climate change, soil-loss, extinction and more – but growing some of your own food gives you back a little control over where your food comes from, how it is produced and how far it travels to reach you. It’s a useful skill to have, cheap and easy to do, good for your health, great for getting in touch with nature, and it’s extremely rewarding!”

Drop-in gardening club Plot 31, based on the Holcroft Road allotments, is also involved, and member Louise Dillon explained: “Plot 31 has lots of expertise in growing flowers and we now have a community gardening project to get local people growing food together too. This initiative is a perfect way to bring the growing community together online and to share tips and advice, and we’re encouraging everyone to get involved.”

Grow Community Sopwell is also offering free seeds, donated by Ayletts, to Sopwell residents only.

More information is available from the FoodSmiles St Albans campaign webpage at