Study reveals multiple benefits for people growing food

Coaxing people to grow fruit and vegetables not only improves health and saves on grocery bills but also builds stronger community ties, researchers have proved.

The study involved households and volunteers on the Master Gardener mentoring programme launched by the charity Garden Organic in 2010. Almost three-quarters of households grew more food than before while even experienced gardeners increased their produce. A quarter of households said they had cut their food bills.

Coventry University researcher Dr Moya Kneafsey said: "A key finding was on social impact - people felt more part of the community and built up relationships."

Two-thirds felt their sense of community had increased. Average life satisfaction scores for volunteers and households rose and people ate more fresh produce.

Garden Organic project manager Philip Turvil said: "We don't want to just teach our volunteers the best way of growing a cabbage. We want to teach them how to pass this information on to others in their community."

For further details, see www.mastergardeners.org.uk.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

Published on 11 January, the Government's long-awaited 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' brings together a number of policy strands into a single framework that will impact many sectors, not least fresh produce, over the coming decades.

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

At the Oxford Farming Conference, whose theme was "embracing change", Defra secretary Michael Gove expanded on what a post-Brexit UK agriculture and land-use policy will look like and how it will impact farmers and growers.

Can growers see off the looming labour crisis by boosting efficiency?

Can growers see off the looming labour crisis by boosting efficiency?

Concern over the availability of seasonal labour to the fresh-produce industry has never been greater.