by Alexia Wdowski

Eco Hub Aber is planting the seeds of change in ‘Ceredigion Grows,’ a project to support food growing spaces in Ceredigion.

During the project, Eco Hub Aber and Ceredigion Food Partnership, a Welsh Government funded initiative to champion sustainable food networks, created a local food map to connect over 30 local growing spaces. The map highlighted growing champions from all over the county, as well as tackling food poverty and ultra-processed diets by increasing access to affordable, healthy food.

Ceredigion Growing Spaces Map – Time to Get Greener

The growing spaces map provides contact details, facebook pages and descriptions for each growing project including allotments where you can request a plot, community gardens and other unique spaces to grow food. The options on the map range from kitchen gardens, community centres and woodlands to guerrilla gardening in unusual public spaces.

Every dot on the map represents a tranquil green space where the public can get involved in both learning to grow and sustainable food practices such as seed swapping and food sharing. Opportunities like these create a vibrant prosperous and diverse food economy. The map is live, updated regularly and searchable by project. It can be used for sharing ideas, tools, seeds, and surplus crops, as well as developing skills and planning for a sustainable future.

The map is constantly evolving and will be updated by CAVO who host the map here on their website Connect Ceredigion. Updates and additions to the map can be emailed to:

Fundraisers and Radio with Eco Hub Aber

Eco Hub Aber took part in a series of events over the past month to help promote the project, including The sold-out Bee Friendly fundraiser in local Aber venue, Bank Vault. Mischa and the Kings played a set of both original and reworked indie floor-fillers and Eco Hub’s very own Lady P nourished the dancefloor with gardening-inspired tunes.

Eco Hub Aber also asked for local music-lovers to send their favourite songs that celebrate

gardening and growing for their set on Radio Bronglais on Monday 25th March 4-6pm. They picked the greenest vibes to play on air and discussed local food initiatives live from local allotments.

The Community Growing Spaces Report – Enjoying the Fruits of our Labour

Local food systems writer Jane Powell researched the 2024 Community Growing Spaces in Ceredigion report as part of the project. The report dug deeper into community growing and her findings showed that now is an important time to be involved in building local food culture through gardening projects.

The report described how gardening is vital for time spent in nature, connecting with others and encouraging growing, cooking and eating together. It also highlighted areas for improvement, investment and future development, especially where projects are already facing issues caused by the climate and nature emergency.

For the full report contact

Get involved in Growing in Ceredigion

Ceredigion cultivates many different types of community growing spaces, both public and privately owned. These spaces make the great outdoors accessible and each one offers different ways to get involved including workshops, events and community meals.

People who volunteer with community gardens often enjoy free food as the fruit of their labour, while others may benefit via sharing community meals. This means less money spent on food and more time spent outdoors in nature alongside other organisers and volunteers.

By bringing people together to share rewarding gardening tasks, surplus food and meals, community growing can help address food poverty, diet and health issues on a personal level, as well as addressing the wider issue of the nature and climate crisis, encouraging local and sustainable food networks to develop.

Locally produced food avoids excess transport, energy and food waste, reduces use of plastics, and lessens the need for expensive supermarket shopping, leading to a healthy and vibrant local good food movement that is better for the environment.

Fun Allotment Fact – We Have a Right to an Allotment!

According to the 1908 Small Holdings and Allotment Act, if six people ask for land to grow food, then the council have a duty to find them somewhere, although there is not a specific time limit. This is how Aberaeron Allotments began eight years ago. Six local people found a good piece of land for growing, asked Ceredigion County Council for access and they now have 17 plots where local people can grow. Lists of allotment contacts for different areas of Ceredigion including Lampeter, New Quay, Cardigan, Aberystwyth and more can be found on the Growing Spaces Map.

The Future of Growing Spaces

The Growing Spaces in Ceredigion report shows that community gardens and growing spots are valuable spaces developed by passionate local people. Ceredigion’s local food growing spaces hold workshops, events and share produce. They can encourage links to Welsh culture and language. They provide a haven for wildlife such as bees, birds and insects. They also give away extra food which saves money, encouraging healthy eating and reducing food waste.

One idea to protect their future includes setting aside more land for allotments. There are always more people on waiting lists than there are plots available. Sometimes plots fall into disuse and investing in ‘Allotment fairies’ could be another solution to help people maintain their hard-won plot. Other ideas include supporting projects by investing in infrastructure and adapting to climate change through raised beds, rainwater harvesting and drainage.

The map is a step forward in establishing better connections across the county. To combat climate change growing spaces must increasingly work together to find new ways to share seeds, skills and surplus as well as creating a more structured way for people to learn and share valuable growing skills.

Our growing spaces deserve more visibility and funding, and this includes respecting and investing in volunteers. And, of course, we all want more time spent growing, cooking and eating together.

If community growing was treated as a significant part of the food system, we would all benefit from the nourishment it brings.

Eco Hub Aber would like to thank the Ceredigion Community Growing project participants and funders:  Participants – Jane Powell, independent consultant undertook the research and is  author of the report and to the gardens and allotments who gave their time. Funders: Menter a Busnes, Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council and Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government. The project wouldn’t have happened without the co-ordination of Partneriaeth Bwyd Ceredigion by Ann Owen. Follow Eco Hub Aber on social media for information on their upcoming projects.

Projects to get Involved with Near You

➡️Lampeter’s Incredible Edible project is about growing produce in existing public gardens so that people can help themselves

➡️Yr Ardd are exploring the possibility of supplying food banks

➡️ Gardd Enfys in Tal-y-Bont has run preserving courses and is setting up a community fridge.

➡️Laudato Si in Penparcau regularly sends boxes of produce to the community meals run by The Hatch, The Well and St Paul’s.

➡️The Bwyd Dyfi Hub based at Aber Food Surplus, part of the Open Food Network, will take small quantities of surplus produce for sale

➡️ Tyfu Dyfi project in the Dyfi Biosphere is actively developing more ideas for food sharing!