As part of the Ffres! Festival of Veg – Wales’s first Festival of Veg – Food Vale has launched a series of videos celebrating community growing projects in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Through beautiful footage featuring muddy hands, sleepy bees and, of course, veg , the videos take us to four different community growing projects across the rural Vale to find out what is going on at the different sites, and the benefits of getting involved!

The first site is Field Days Organic, based at the Amelia Trust Farm, where project coordinator Alastair Leith. Field Days Organic is a horticultural project run by Innovate Trust and set up as a day opportunity for people with learning difficulties or other support needs.

“It’s about being outside, somewhere nice. It’s about being with good people. It’s about feeling you’re making a contribution to the world around you. We’re giving you veg and plants that have the lowest carbon footprint they could possibly have. It’s all grown on site. It’s all organically produced. And we grow very tasty veg and very healthy plants!”

The next project is Lanlay Community Orchard, a project in the Lanlay Meadows Local Nature Reserve managed by local community group Cyswllst Peterston Connects. Chris Powell shares the reasons behind setting up the orchard and invites local communities and people in the surrounding area to come and visit the orchard.

“The main reason for setting up the community orchard was for improving biodiversity, adding to the value of the National Trust land and the wildflower meadows, giving the local public in the Peterston and surrounding area somewhere to come and walk and enjoy the countryside.”

Coed Hills Forest Garden is the next place to be visited, where Stephen speaks about the benefits of getting involved in projects, and the rewarding nature of getting involved in a project where you can access new experiences as well as eat tasty food!

“Probably our main motivating factor is our belly. We want to feed ourselves. We love eating delicious food. We also want to create a space that is educational for people, particularly for the local community to come and see what a forest garden is and what our ideas of a forest garden are.”

The final site is Plant Llantwit, a community action group which aims to revive waste ground by planting trees and growing food. Founder Annie Paine takes us on a tour of their spaces, and shares the group’s origins as a response to the climate crisis.

“Growing food obviously is quite important, but alongside that – equally important – are looking after biodiversity, encouraging habitats, encouraging all the pollinators and other creatures, and mental health well-being. I think this is so enjoyable and I hope more people will be able to come and join in!”

Visit our YouTube channel to watch the individual videos, or watch the full-length video here.

The video was funded through the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The Ffres! Festival is coordinated by Food Sense Wales and took place from June 5th to the 18th, celebrating growing, eating, on the ground action and enjoyment of all things veg in Wales. It highlighted the incredible work that’s taking place across Wales’ gardens, farms, communities, organisations and businesses