As regular readers of our Sow Study Sustain Newsletter on LinkedIn will know (sign up here) Sow Study Sustain, a program devised by UK-based Ecolearn CIC and now delivered by Lincolnshire Outdoor Learning, is more than just a community gardening initiative. It’s a vibrant tapestry woven from the threads of circular economy, health and well-being, inter-generational bonding, and, of course LOL , the joy of growing healthy food together.
We are truly are doing exceptional things and believe our biodiversity model has the potential to make a real difference in communities around the world
Circular Economy at our Core:
Imagine a world where waste is not waste, but a valuable resource. That’s the essence of the circular economy, and it’s deeply embedded in Sow Study Sustain’s model. Here’s how:
- Composting: Kitchen scraps and garden waste are transformed into nutrient-rich compost, feeding the soil and reducing landfill contributions.
- Water Harvesting: Rainwater is collected and used for irrigation, minimizing reliance on tap water and reducing strain on local resources.
- Upcycling: Old materials like pallets and tires are given new life as garden beds, planters, and furniture, promoting creativity and resourcefulness.
Nurturing Health and Well-being:
Sow Study Sustain recognizes the profound connection between food, community, and personal well-being. Here’s how they cultivate a healthy environment:
- Physical Activity: Gardening provides gentle exercise, promoting physical health and combating sedentary lifestyles.
- Stress Reduction: Immersing oneself in nature and working with soil has proven benefits for mental health and stress reduction.
- Healthy Food: Growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs encourages consumption of fresh, nutritious food, leading to better dietary choices.
Sow Study Sustain fosters a sense of community and connection across generations. Here’s how they bridge the age gap:
- Mentorship: Experienced gardeners share their knowledge and skills with younger generations, perpetuating traditional techniques and fostering cultural exchange.
- Shared Learning: Children learn about food production, environmental responsibility, and the value of community through hands-on experiences.
- Family Activities: Gardening becomes a shared activity, strengthening family bonds and creating lasting memories.
Food as the Foundation:
At the heart of it all lies food. Sow Study Sustain empowers communities to take control of their food security and nourishment:
- Growing Diverse Crops: A variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs are cultivated, ensuring access to a range of nutrients and dietary needs.
- Local Food Production: Reducing reliance on supermarket supply chains and promoting consumption of fresh, local produce.
- Food Skills Development: Participants learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare food, fostering self-reliance and food literacy.
Despite no external funding in 2023 and 2021 (and just £10k from the Lottery in 2021) Sow Study Sustain and Ecolearn offer a refreshing and inspiring model for building resilient communities, promoting well-being and reconnecting with nature. By embracing circular economy principles, nurturing health and inter-generational bonds and celebrating the joy of growing food together, we put LOL into life, sowing the seeds for a brighter, more sustainable future.
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