Bountiful Bristol Bulletin

Uncut Permaculture Magazine News Article by nadiacatkinhillman
November 11, 2006, 11:22 am
Filed under: food-growing, gardening, GROFUN, peak oil, permaculture

GROFUN got a bit of print space in the 50th Anniversary issue of Permaculture Magazine-just out and I thought I would post it here for those of you who dont buy the mag.

“GROFUN is a beautifully simple idea with a beautifully silly name. GROFUN stands for Growing Real organic food in Urban Neighbourhoods and focus’ on small communities cooperatively growing food in their own back gardens, sharing labour, resources and produce.

The pilot’s overall aim is to produce a working model and a ‘How-To Guide’ which contains a clear set of guidelines for individuals to plant GROFUN seeds in their own community, across the country and across the world! A number of elements are now urgently and keenly sought grow this idea. A friend at the recent UK Permaculture Convergence (if you missed it this year, don’t miss it next time) illuminated how much more productive the pilot could be if it was being established several times over, simultaneously. Facilitators could interact and offer support via the telephone and internet and the learning curve would be far steeper (and therefore much quicker). After all, the level of urgency regarding relocalization cannot be emphasised enough. Time really is not on our side. With the implications of peak oil being felt more and more we will soon be quite reliant on our remaining market gardens, city farms and allotments but back gardens have the exceptional advantage of being a stones throw from the chopping board.  

I am seeking volunteers for three roles. Firstly to help prepare back gardens for small-scale growing in Dec/Jan. GROFUN seeks also to ‘skill-up’ the participants in practical, urban permaculture and so long as volunteers are communicative and capable, teaching experience would not necessarily be required. Unfortunately I can give no guarantee that there will be wages available, but at the least I would expect to be able to provide food and accommodation for the 2-3 week period in which we are building beds and propagating seeds etc. I would like GROFUN growers to end the year feeling at least more confident in their gardens.

Secondly, growers are also sought for the pilot I am facilitating in Montpelier, Bristol. Growers would need about half a day to a day a week once the initial on-the-ground hard work was completed.

Finally, I am hoping to hear from a few people who would like to read the four page proposal (a work in progress), discuss ideas and then run with a pilot themselves. Funding is likely to be available but it is not yet known if it can be used to pay any wages. Incidentally, the facilitator should profit from fresh and free herbs, fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, even honey each week.

Other outputs in the future would include the creation of part-time positions facilitating further GROFUN schemes, more skilled food growers, wide environmental advantages and stronger communities/local economies etc. So if you are interested in fulfilling any of the three roles please don’t hesitate to contact me. Participants don’t need a huge garden, green fingers or money, just a love of fresh, quality food and a little time each week to care for your small crop. You and the others taking part will share the produce between you and create your own localised, urban, sustainable food-growing system!

Please contact Nadia Hillman at or 07973 847894″


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great stuff Nadia!
sounds like its coming together…

Comment by Trotsky

hi nadia. Great Idea and I wish you all the best. If I find interested people shall i send them to this blog?

Comment by power

hi nadia, got loads of rooted organic strawberry plants you can have for the project for free – any use? just need digging up…crop reliably every june with some of the tastiest berries i’ve ever munched!

Comment by sally

Hi Nadia,
A late response, but you know sometimes it takes a while for a seed to germinate… I’m so very impressed, and i’m very keen to read the 4-page proposal and correspond about it. I’ve only quite briefly read the grofun leaflet but i was struck by a quality of freshness about it and the simple genious of enticing people to grow food. Just as libraries and learning centres are there to stimulate people to read and to think, there could be so many projects to invite people into such a grounding and edifying experience as growing food is. Blessings on your head, dude!, lots of love, glenn

Comment by Glenn

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