Today (Thursday, June 3rd), Cardiff Salad Garden will open its beautiful and inspiring 6 metre living salad mobile workshop, nestled in the heart of Cardiff’s Bute Park. It will be open until June 8th and will welcome more than 150 participants to learn more about planting, growing, harvesting and cooking salad leaves.
Cardiff Salad Garden commissioned The Bottega Project to create the living salad circle, a mobile structure that consists of several modular growing walls that contain floor to ceiling planting of shallow rooted plants including salad and a range of other edible herbs and flowers. The living walls will be interactive and changeable with workshop participants having the opportunity to harvest plants as well as planting them.
This project is receiving a grant worth £10,000 from Food For Life Get-Togethers as part of its work to test innovative approaches and to further develop its existing initiatives which bring people from different generations and backgrounds together through food.
Food for Life Get Togethers is a programme of regular community activities that connect people from all ages and backgrounds through growing, cooking and sharing good food. It’s a 4-year National Lottery Community Fund programme that started in June 2019 and is led by the Soil Association Food for Life charity and delivered in Wales by Food Sense Wales.
Thanks to Cardiff Salad Garden’s extensive knowledge of quick growing diverse, edible, leafy plants and herbs, the walls are planted with over 20 different salad leaves from lettuces to rockets, mustards, baby spinach, coriander and sorrel, including plants familiar to different communities.
“The structure becomes the garden and our aim is to provide a welcoming and functional space to bring communities from Cardiff and the surrounding areas together through promoting local growing and sharing of healthy food,” says Sophie Bolton from Cardiff Salad Garden.
“This will be an accessible space for people of all ages and abilities and we intend to use the mobile workshop as a primary tool that will allow us to provide assistance to community groups who want to go on to grow and share food.
“Throughout the mobile workshop’s residency in Bute Park, we’ll be running a series of sessions timetabled for invited groups and individuals as well as ‘drop in’ sessions for members of the public who want to find out more about the project,” continues Sophie. “We’ll be running a total of fourteen sessions around the themes of Planting, Harvesting and Tasting; Creating and Planting Home Growing Containers and Designing and Building your own Growing Space or Green Wall Space. We hope that these session will help to increase social capital and equip people with transferable skills. We’ll also be introducing groups to new social situations.
“In Cardiff we have a wealth of knowledge and experience from around the world about growing and cooking food,” adds Sophie. “We want to create a space where people can be inspired by food and by living plants. We want to create excitement and interest around where food comes from how it is grown and want to help people feel less isolated.
“We also believe that this project will help us celebrate our differences and our varied experiences. Sharing good food, stories, knowledge and ideas to help bridge generation gaps and lead to a more understanding, active and inclusive community where all members feel valued. We really hope that there will be many more community groups inspired to grow and share fresh food together by this project.”
Food For Life Get Togethers is really pleased to be supporting such an engaging and ambitious project in Cardiff and is looking forward to seeing the structure taking its place in Bute Park.
“Food for Life is about making good food the easy choice for everyone – making healthy, tasty and sustainable meals the norm for all to enjoy, reconnecting people with where their food comes from, teaching them how it’s grown and cooked, and championing the importance of well-sourced ingredients,” says Louise Shute, Programme Manager of Food For Life Get Togethers in Wales.
“Rooted in partnerships with groups of schools, nurseries, community groups and organisations, Food for Life Get Togethers is for people of all ages and backgrounds. Having the chance to get together and have a chat whilst sharing fresh, healthy food, by growing or cooking food together can change people’s day to day lives for the better. This project by Cardiff Salad Cardiff is a great example of how all of these elements can come together, providing a truly innovative way to share knowledge, experiences and skills.”
For more information about Cardiff Salad Garden and its mobile salad workshop space, please visit cardiffsaladgarden.co.uk or follow @cardiffsalad on Twitter.
For more information on The Bottega Project please visit www.bottegaproject.co.uk
For more information about Food For Life Get Togethers, please visit Food for Life Get Togethers – Food for Life