Science Shops Supports Local Growers

Dr Robin Cook (AT) has set up GROW, or the Treforest Wholesome Food Association with help from Science Shops Wales and friends from the local community. On a plot of land in Meadow Street just five minutes from campus, an abundance of fruit and vegetables has been grown without using artificial pesticides or fertilisers.

The project has many benefits, such as improving the health and appearance of the local environment. It is also helping to reduce the community??????s ??????food miles?????? and carbon footprint. It is resulting in a supply of wholesome food for the community as well as raising awareness of healthy eating and food production issues. Local young people are also getting the benefit of stimulating work experience, improving their understanding of sustainability issues, gaining skills useful in the job market and thoroughly enjoying themselves at the same time.

Local people, including staff and students at the university, can have a share of the produce by:

1. Joining in with activities on the land and receiving a bag of fruit or vegetables in return for each hour worked.
2. Paying for produce of their choice per bag at reasonable rates. The money is used to support the project.

If you would like to support this project by helping Robin or by buying produce, get in touch with him on 01443 482804.

Science Shops has helped Robin to get the project off the ground by linking his organisation with a private training organisation (Associated Community Training or ACT) who needed constructive hands-on experiences for their trainees. Science Shops has also supported GROW by organising events and literature promoting the venture locally.

Now that this initiative is up and running, Robin and Science Shops are planning to turn the adjacent plot into a ??????Forest School??????, where local people of all ages will be able to learn about nature conservation, biodiversity auditing and sustainable living generally, by taking part in mainly practical activities. If you??????d like to join the growing band of volunteers and enthusiasts involved with either of these projects, you??????d be very welcome. Just contact Robin on the number above.

written by Nicky Shelswell



One comment


    Andrew Geens

    September 13, 2007

    You could also mention all the local sixth formers who studied UP0S01 Sustainable Community Based Food Production using the GROW project for the fieldwork element, for the practical part of the Welsh Baccalaureate which is what really kick started the project.

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