Southcote GrowAllot Community Allotment has revitalised a patch of wasteland behind the Florian Garden flats in Southcote, Reading, Berkshire. The area is now a community space where local people can grow and share organic crops, get some exercise and meet new friends.
Southcote GrowAllot was created by Food4Families in 2011 to benefit the community with free fresh fruit and vegetables, physical activity and time spent socialising with other volunteers. The allotment is very productive, everything is organic and the digging and weeding etc. keep the volunteers fit.
Run entirely by volunteers and managed by a committee, the plot has a number of beds, an orchard, polytunnel, tool shed, log cabin, gazebo, lean-to, pond, compost heaps and rain water butts.
The allotment is fruit of the immense work done by all the members, volunteers and Food4Families over the years, transforming what was a waste ground full of fly-tipped rubble into an oasis-like, peaceful, award-winning garden, providing fresh organic food for the community.
The project brings together different parts of the local community and beyond, and this diversity works towards producing cheap, healthy, fresh food via a common love of gardening, and creates a safe environment for vulnerable adults and children.