Sustain Eden project

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‘Grow Your Own’ project, Cumbria

The Penrith and Eden District Freegle Grow-your-own project aims to support the growing of food in Eden District, Cumbria, by helping people pass on unwanted seeds, plants, trees and surplus produce to others using Freegle.

To encourage Freegle users to exchange items related to growing, the local group created a special gardening sub-group on Freegle, and actively promotes it in various ways. Helping people learn how to grow fruit and veg is also an important element to the project.

Full info on the project - info on the Freegle site.

The project is funded by the Big Lottery and managed by Freegle UK with a lot of work on the ground done by Penrith Action for Community Transition. Freegle is one of the partners in the Sustain Eden scheme which is run by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS). The Big Lottery have set a target of 500 people using Freegle to exchange locally grown food stuffs during the project which runs from February 2013 until October 2015. The project is being run by local moderator Chris Cant who can be contacted on

In June 2014, the project is on target and has helped promote wider gardening activities in Eden District such as community gardens, growing veg for food banks and a series of fruit and veg open garden visits. Read the Year One report. Have a look at these films:

Encouraging use of Freegle for gardening items

The new gardening sub-group within Penrith & Eden District Freegle is at the heart of the ‘Grow Your Own’ project. The sub-group is called "Eden District Grow Your Own". People can sign up just for this sub-group - which is part of the main local Freegle group. Users in the sub-group only see gardening category messages, but their sent messages can be seen by everyone in the main group.

To promote the sub-group and encourage people to use it to pass on unwanted produce, seeds or tools, the project sends ADMINS, runs Freegle roadshows at local events, places articles in local media, distributes flyers and posters, and spreads the word using Facebook and Twitter, along with films of individuals and communities involved in growing fruit and veg.

Visiting Edible Gardens events

A project survey showed that people found it difficult to get started growing their own fruit and veg. To help this, PACT and Freegle are organising a series of Visits to Edible Gardens roughly once a month over the summer. Individuals and community garden groups volunteer to have visitors view their patch to show how they do it - and pick up tips from visitors too.

Setting up a sub-group

If your group is on Freegle Direct, you can set up sub-group for any of the standard FD categories. Full Instructions. The Freegle Mentors can help on Instructions with Screenshots

The Freegle Direct item categories are Children and Baby, Clothing, DIY, Furniture, Garden, Household, Leisure and Entertainment, Miscellaneous, Office and Home Office, Pet-related and Domestic Appliances.

Once the sub-group is set up, you can create a widget to put on other websites, such as the Eden District Grow Your Own widget.

Sample ADMIN

ADMIN: Too much rhubarb!?

The message is being sent to all members of the group. If you no longer want to be in the group, please visit

Freegle is not just for bits and bobs - it's also for spades and spuds.

If you grow your own fruit and veg, and you've now got a surplus, why not hand it on to others using Freegle? I'm sure others will be very keen to help you out - and even pick surplus rhubarb, gooseberries, blackcurrants or apples.

Freegle can also help you get started growing your own. Why not ask for seeds or tools that you need - or give away those you aren't using?



Please send any responses to: [GROUP_NAME]


Local Group Initiatives