It’s the middle of May and the young buds are bursting into bloom all over the garden. For The Kitchen Garden Enterprise at Heart of BS13, it is the most exciting time of year. With our team of dedicated volunteers, we’ve spent the long, locked-down winter improving soil health, planning our crop rotations, creating new growing space and tending to the garden. As the season begins, it is the time when we reap what we have sown and can enjoy the colour and magic of over 30 different varieties of flowers as they start to emerge.
Who we are
The Kitchen Garden Enterprise at Heart of BS13 is a social enterprise committed to improving health in BS13. Over the last 2 years we have focused on developing an acre of market garden and orchard in the centre of Hartcliffe and Withywood, with the view to growing and selling chemical free cut flowers, vegetables and herbs. In spite of the challenges that last year brought we were able to sell both our hand tied bouquets and seasonal produce via our online shop and Front Door Flower Markets across the city, as well as providing our sister enterprise, The Real Meal Store with vegetables and herbs for their frozen meal range.
No-dig and biodiversity
We are passionate about our no-dig approach, increasing biodiversity, and educating our volunteers around horticulture and enterprise. Whilst we maximise our growing spaces, transforming previously unused sections of land into productive, no-dig beds, we also create pockets and corners of the garden where wildlife is encouraged to thrive. As well as creating new habitats for wildlife, these mini nature reserves provide spaces for our participants and volunteers to sit back and enjoy the garden in between their focused tasks and workshops.
These days it is common for many of us to consider seasonality, carbon footprint and organic practices when making our food choices, but we don’t tend to think about it when buying a bouquet of flowers. It is alarming to think that the majority of flowers available in florists and supermarkets are imported from around the world and are heavily treated with pesticides and chemicals. We’re committed to reducing the carbon footprint of global agriculture by offering sustainable, local, chemical-free produce.
Volunteer days, education and workshops
We have team of dedicated volunteers, mostly from the BS13 area who gain employability skills and gardening knowledge. We also run monthly volunteer days open to all and include a hearty, homemade lunch using our own produce, lovingly cooked by the chefs at our Real Meal Store. Volunteers and participants tell us that getting involved in with the garden helps to develop personal skills and confidence, improves emotional and physical health and helps them to feel part of a wider community.
The future We have come a long way in the last 2 years and we will continue to improve on every area of enterprise at the Kitchen Garden Enterprise in the years to come so that we can continue the work that we do. When you buy what we grow, you are supporting us as we put Heart of BS13 on the map as a pace where social enterprise supports a healthy and thriving community.