Opportunity to share gardening skills across community sites in the Dyfi Biosphere with Tyfu Dyfi

Dyfi Biosffer arfon

The Tyfu Dyfi project is looking for volunteers to join a network of gardeners across the Biosphere who are willing to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with others, and is running an introductory event on Friday 24 and Thursday 30 June in Aberystwyth.

Tyfu Dyfi gardening volunteers share their food-growing skills in schools, community gardens, day care centres or simply with their friends and neighbours, and they receive regular training and support in return for just a couple of hours a month of their time. 

The free introductory course is organized by the UK gardening charity Garden Organic in partnership with Aber Food Surplus and Tir Coed’s AnTir project, and will include visits to at least two community growing sites in Aberystwyth.  

“We are always looking for new people to get involved,” said Jade Phillips, coordinator of the scheme. "We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds, and we find everyone brings their unique ideas and enthusiasm to the project. It’s a very exciting time because there’s so much interest in growing food these days. People want to see more local food and they also recognize that gardening is good for mental health.”

Tyfu Dyfi, a Welsh Government project supported by the EU and run by a consortium of seven partners led by Ecodyfi, is about connecting people with food and nature across the Dyfi Biosphere. As well as community growing, it is developing local food distribution systems and supporting farmers and growers to diversify. 

“This a pilot project to demonstrate how communities can be involved in their local food systems and see all the benefits that flow from that. We have an opportunity here to do something really exciting that builds on years of experience in this part of Wales,” said project coordinator Chris Higgins of Ecodyfi.  

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities-Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Tyfu Dyfi is also supporting community growing by making grants to improve community growing sites. So far these have included Laudato Si in Penparcau and Llandre Community Garden, with many more in the pipeline. There will be an opportunity for more organizations to apply for funding later this year. 

“As well as the volunteer training, we have a newsletter to put people in touch with each other, and we are also running regular events at community sites. We’re really keen to hear more ideas about what we could do for community growing in the Biosphere,” added Jade.

If you would like to book a free place on the introductory course on Thursday 24 and Friday 30 June, or to find out more about the Tyfu Dyfi volunteer programme, contact Jade Phillips on td@gardenorganic.org.uk, or call Jade on 07583 575930. Please book by Monday 20 June.