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Annexe Grows

THE CREATION in the Anderston district of Glasgow of a community vegetable garden from what was previously an area of derelict ground, has achieved widespread recognition throughout the city and beyond.

And it amply demonstrates the key role played by Annexe Communities in both stimulating and facilitating the project. Our influence and experience are valuable resources and ones we are keen to share with other communities.

The transition of waste ground from coup to community resource delivered a crop of other benefits too and illustrates Annexe Communities’ on-going commitment to community self-help and capacity building, particularly in areas of healthy living and energy efficiency.

Our organisation not only facilitated the Back Garden project, it ran healthy cookery, energy efficiency and composting workshops throughout the area as well as publishing a gardening reference book, distributed free to all who participated. It remains a huge hit.

We deployed full-time development worker Sandra MacDowell to Anderston in 2007. She was instrumental in establishing both the local G3 Action Group and latterly a formal community council. MacDowell also identified that the absence of any form of community centre in the area was acting as a barrier to breaking down some of the fundamental social issues of inequality, lack of opportunity and high unemployment.

You can read the story of how we worked to overcome major technical and admin set-backs to realise the creation of the Brechin Street garden HERE

As the key facilitator for the project, Annexe Communities –

  • Nurtured the creation of a G3 Growers Group from within the community to take charge of the garden and its future
  • Drafted and negotiated a 15-year occupancy agreement with GWHA
  • Secured helpful architects
  • Obtained planning approval
  • Recruited a sessional gardener
  • Appointed contractors for the construction
  • Ran cookery, energy efficiency and composting workshops
  • Secured one full-time job for a year, a part-time gardener for launch, and contract work for local architects and solicitors
  • Handed over the ownership and administration of the garden to the local community

Over the summer of 2011 residents and volunteers involved with the growing project enjoyed harvesting and eating a range of produce including strawberries, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbages, salad, beetroot, turnip, leeks, broccoli, tomatoes, runner beans, peas, various herbs and flowers.