The Edible Garden at FCH Campus is a hidden gem; it’s an oasis for students and members of our local community to come together, connect with nature, and grow and harvest crops at relaxed weekly gardening sessions.

This year has been prosperous for the Edible Garden. Over the past 12 months, a number of new volunteers joined the existing team, providing a great help with some of the bigger projects they have carried out, including:

  • Creating a new gravel path
  • Building raised beds
  • Trimming back branches to increase light

They’ve also hosted a number of fantastic events:

  • Mindfulness and interfaith events run by the Chaplaincy
  • Pizza parties run by students and the community (the pizza oven has been put to good use and food is a great way to bring people together!)
  • Fieldtrip for Biosciences students to flora and fauna (an alternative to usual trips during Covid restrictions)
  • Botanical Society meet-ups and plant ID events

Students value the green surroundings at Edible Garden and see it as a place to recharge after lectures. One student was even inspired to carry out a photography project in the garden on sustainable volunteering.

Plus, this year some of the garden volunteers had a stall at ‘From the Ground Up’, a sustainability festival held in Cheltenham, and which provided and opportunity to make new connections within the community and share all the great work that takes place in the Edible Garden.

Working together outdoors to complete these projects has really helped us learn new skills from each other and also build friendships, adding to the social benefits of this space. Because the Edible Garden isn’t just for growing vegetables and fruit, it also works as a great community space!

Rowan Middleton

FCH Edible Garden Volunteer and Senior Lecturer in Creative English Literature, University of Gloucestershire

Now, with summer in sight, the team are getting stuck in with the new season’s planting in earnest! If you’d like to keep up to date with future news and events, follow the FCH Edible Garden Facebook page.