Their Story: Vikings Veg is a Food Cooperative based at the Little Vikings Children's Centre in Watchet, West Somerset providing about 25 boxes of fruit and veg each week to the families and the local community. Following a successful funding application they were been allocated part of the Knights Templar School wildlife area to turn into a community allotment with a pollytunnel being erected during the summer of 2011.
Why they started: Families were telling Family Support Worker Tracey Bland
that they were struggling to budget for fruit and veg on a small income. The coop enabled families to buy food at cost price and their support to grow their own means families can keep costs even lower and enjoy growing.
Their Journey: Tracey liaised with Knights Templar School with regard to accessing or renting part of their wildlife area to turn it into an allotments, which they agreed to do free of charge because of the aferschool club running there. To erect the polytunnel they had 12 volunteers - working parents who gave up their Saturdays’ for a month to get it up. The projects timescale was for the allotment to be up and running efficiently within two years.
Somerset Community Food signposted us to resources & contacts, helped us with networking, gave advice and supported us financially through Get Growing Support Fund.
- Polytunnel is now erected & they are ready to grow produce.
- They have secured funding through Somerset Community Food for equipment and are running Get Set Grow courses in introducing people to food growing.
- They are producing fruit and veg boxes for families and the community.
- Families were the first to benefit from the co-op but now they also deliver to the local community, a local B&B and also sheltered housing.
Challenges: More volunteers are needed.
Plans for the future:
- To keep growing & fully utilise the Polytunnel to the best of their ability.
- To provide a Get Set Grow course for the families.
- To grow our own produce with the intention of making the allotment a community affair.
How to get involved: More volunteers are always welcome, please contact Tracy Bland.
Public Contact: TBland (at) educ.somerset (dot) gov (dot) uk