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Royal Holloway students to grow their own for a taste of 'the good life'.

Posted on 08/06/2010

Staff and students get stuck into the Campus Community Garden

Royal Holloway, University of London, has launched its Campus Community Garden to encourage students to grow and eat their own fresh vegetables.

With help from the College’s gardeners an area of wasteland on campus, measuring 152 square metres, has been turned into vegetable patches ready for students to cultivate.

The scheme, in partnership with Homebase and the National Union of Students (NUS), will provide students with plants, seeds and garden tools, as well as advice and support from the local Homebase store to get them started.

Once the scheme is developed it is hoped it will lead to the creation of Grow Your Own Societies and the sale of produce back to fellow students and local communities.

Anna Simpson, Royal Holloway Sustainability Officer, said, “We’re really proud of the transformation from wasteland to community garden. We hope that students will discover the joy of home-grown, organic vegetables and take the growing skills they learn with them when they leave the College.”

Drama student Emily Cookson, who is in her final year, has signed up to become part of the scheme and has already been busy planting some runner beans on her patch. She said, “This project is a really nice idea and it’s really good for the environment as well. It’s a great way to bring everybody together and to create a nice student community as well as giving us the opportunity to grow fresh fruit and vegetables.”

Matthew Compton, Category Manager of Garden Horticulture at Homebase said, "This initiative is about creating a generation of graduates with healthier, greener and more pocket-friendly eating habits. If students learn at this influential life-stage to grow healthy, fresh food for themselves and their local communities we hope they will take those skills and that passion on into later life. The GYO category has increased 30% year on year and we want students to be able to benefit from this social trend."

For more information on the project email anna.simpson@rhul.ac.uk. Students can also log on to the online community  to get recipe ideas, growing tips and chat to other 'grow your own' enthusiasts in the forum section.


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