Sustainable St Albans hosting Open Food Gardens event across district

Sarah Gataora (left) with visitors to her Open Food Garden event in Harpenden.

Sarah Gataora (left) with visitors to her Open Food Garden event in Harpenden. - Credit: SustFest

Environmental charity Sustainable St Albans is running The Open Food Gardens summer programme again this year, with a new organiser and team of volunteers making it happen.

Harpenden resident Sarah Gataora, who has recently joined the charity as a trustee, has taken on the Open Food Gardens as her first project: “I've been working in finance for over 15 years but realised I was missing a wider sense of purpose.

"I'm not looking to change my day job, so becoming a trustee for Sustainable St Albans in my spare time has given me the opportunity to focus more on encouraging sustainability in my community.

"My family always grew a lot of food when I was young, so I especially love the Open Food Gardens project.

"I think it's wonderful for people to see how easy it can be to grow just a few small things, maybe some herbs or tomatoes, or to be able to see a more established plot.” 

A garden at Glenferrie Road, St Albans, which is open on July 17.

A garden at Glenferrie Road, St Albans, which is open on July 17. - Credit: SustFest


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There are six more garden events throughout June, July, and August, in Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and St Albans.

Local residents who grow food at home open up their gardens to share design ideas and growing advice to visitors on the day, and also offer a range of second-hand gardening books. The events are free.

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The gardens vary in size, from small backyards to more extensive plots.

Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of vegetables and fruit being grown, including exotic species at the upcoming Sutton Road garden such as Bangladeshi pumpkins, with gourds and beans growing vertically. There are examples of composting, water-saving techniques, and even chickens at the Glenferrie Road garden. 

Catherine Ross in her garden at Beaumont Avenue, St Albans - open on July 11.

Catherine Ross in her garden at Beaumont Avenue, St Albans - open on July 11. - Credit: SustFest

Suzie Brind, who is opening her garden in St Albans in July said: “I have been opening my garden as part of the Open Food Gardens programme since 2016 and always enjoy meeting the visitors, sharing tips, and talking about my plants. I also support as a helper at other open food garden events which means I get to enjoy it even more.” 

The full summer programme with dates can be found at www.sustainablestalbans.org  

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