Saturday, 5 September 2009

Dig for victory in Gwynedd

Green fingered Gwynedd residents could win a top prize as they enjoy a slice of the good life.

Gwynedd Environmental Partnership recently launched a Food Garden Competition to inspire people to grow their own food.

The competition is open to any gardeners producing their own food in Gwynedd whatever the scale – from a few pots on a windowsill to a full vegetable patch.

The winning entry will be drawn at random and will receive £50 in vouchers to spend in their local plant nursery.

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is becoming increasingly popular as people realise the economic, environmental and personal benefits. Growing your own food can save you money, especially on expensive food items such as asparagus and salad leaves.

There are also health and wellbeing benefits – research shows that gardening is a great form of exercise, encourages people to enjoy the outdoors, can reduce stress and can give the grower an enormous sense of wellbeing. Many gardeners will tell of the satisfaction of growing, picking, cooking and eating their own food, knowing exactly how it has been produced.

Gardening is also a great for children – it could boost their interest in food and how it is produced, and gets them closer to nature.

The environmental benefits of growing your own food are well reported. It can dramatically cut food miles – a quarter of all heavy lorries on our roads are carrying food between farms, processing units, food storage depots and supermarkets. Experts believe that the future of food will be uncertain due to climate change, population growth and resource shortages. Growing your own food could be one way to adapt and prepare for these changes.

Your garden is also an important resource for wildlife. Honeybees are essential in the survival of our plants and crops and their numbers have fallen dramatically over the last two years. Growing wildlife friendly plants can help in the bees’ survival.

Gardeners of all ages and experience can enter the Gwynedd competition and organisers are especially keen to hear for those new to growing vegetables, fruits or herbs. We would like to see the variety of produce that you grow, and learn about your experiences and any problems encountered.

To enter the competition send up to four photographs of your kitchen garden and write a description on no more than one side of A4 paper, including any innovative ideas, restrictions and achievements. Remember to include your name, address and e-mail address.

Send your entry to Gwynedd Food Garden Competition, Gwynedd Environmental Partnership, Strategic and Improvement Department, Gwynedd Council, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 1SH. E-mail: Telephone (01286) 679652. The closing date is Friday, 9 October 2009.

For further information on how to grow your own food, contact Canolfan Moelyci, Tregarth for courses. Visit


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