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Plant and Share Month 2023

News | Published  7 May 2023

Plant and Share Month has become a much-loved staple of the springtime calendar running from 22nd April to 20th May 2023. The campaign, run by Eating Better alliance member Soil Association’s Food for Life programme, grew from a desire to make growing plants and food accessible and easy to learn about, bringing together communities up and down the country to grow together. During a cost of living crisis that has seen supplies of fruit and vegetables dwindle in the supermarkets and the cost of meat and dairy rising, growing your own herbs, salads and vegetables can be a great way of eating healthily and sustainably.

Anna Wade, Communications and Marketing Manager at Food for Life Get Togethers, tells us that even a small space can provide valuable growing opportunities.

Whether it’s a windowsill, a large leafy garden or a neglected urban space, anyone can get involved in growing for our health and wellbeing, our planet and our communities through the easy to follow and understand resources created by Plant and Share. 

Initially, the campaign focused on community leaders: people who bring their communities together and lead the way for social growth and change. In 2022, Plant and Share Month, as part of the National Lottery funded project, awarded small grants to a range of community groups across the country with a focus on activities surrounding growing food. This led to participants in these learning new food growing skills, gardening, and growing closer to their communities. One small grant went towards running a Plant and Share event in a local green space, bringing residents together to plant seedlings and learn how to look after them. One participant said: “In the late summer we are planning to have another event where we can swap the veggies we will hopefully be harvesting – if I have a glut of onions, I can give them to someone else and maybe grab some beans or carrots. Maybe if we are really successful, we can have a community meal.”

Change doesn’t have to be big to make a difference. Getting a group together to bring a community green space back to life, planting seeds in yoghurt pots at the town hall, or sharing knowledge with first-time growers are all brilliant ways to strengthen connections and shine a light on how important our food systems are.

With the cost-of-living crisis squeezing budgets tighter than ever, growing herbs, fruit and vegetables can be a simple and fun way to enjoy good food. Seed swaps, meetups to trade excess home-grown fruit and vegetables, and community fridges, are all great ways to nurture local food systems and create variety when it comes to how people access fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables.

This year, Plant and Share Month has four themed weeks: Growing for All, Growing to Eat, Growing for Joy and Growing for Nature. Each week has corresponding resources to provide inspiration and guides for getting involved in growing, whether that’s companion planting or building a bug hotel. 

These bespoke resources are designed to support people at all stages on their growing journeys. Grow bee-friendly herbs on your windowsill, strawberries in old wellies or potatoes in bags – anyone can learn to grow no matter how much space or experience they have. 

Take part by starting an event either with friends, family or within your local community and registering it on our website, or by joining an existing event in your local area. Reach out to local community groups to see if there’s an event happening nearby, or to help arrange one with them.

Register your Plant and Share Month event and download free resources here