Food poverty in local villages - New Forest Basics Bank delivers to 100 families a week, the Food Rescue Kitchen in Brockenhurst is visitied by 20 families a day. Lack of skills to grow some of your own food, the first lockdown in 2020 drew attention to this - Queues, panic-buying and supermarket shelves stripped bare. Royal Horticultural Society and National Vegetable Society reported a substantial increase in people starting to grow their own veg. Decline of bees and other pollinators - For example, managed honeybee hives in England declined by 50% between 1985 and 2005, and 67% of common widespread moth species have declined since the 1970s. Royal Society of Biology.
In 2020 lockdown a couple of us started to put our seedling excesses by our gates, available for free as people walked by. The idea grew. More people started doing the same, other started swapping their own excesses. This year we have tried to so similar, found some funding until June and deliberately bought and sown seeds to giveaway for free. We have 5 seedling stations in town and have given seedlings to the Food rescue kitchen for families to grow on. We want to continue this project in the second half of the year. Continueing to offer seedlings by the gate, to the local food hub but also grow seedlings of flowers for bees and pollinators.
We have 5 seedlings stations already set up in roads that people walk down, and where they know seedlings can be found. Plus the people in place to look after the stations and a bike trailer for easy local deliveries. We have a Facebook page where we offer contacts, bit of help with pests and diseases and a place for people to ask questions and upload their photos. We have good relations with the food hub, who themselves have good relations with the families that use them. We have a system for recycling pots, so that keeps our costs down and means we can buy other things with the funds, plus helping to normalise reusing and sharing.