People found all sorts of things to do during lockdowns. Some binge-watched Netflix series, some got their daily exercise through PE with Joe, and others found refuge in their gardens. We resorted to gardening, and what started off as a task out of boredom, turned out to be a lucrative activity in both physical and mental way. Not only did it lead to fresh (sometimes perfectly wonky) veg which we took pleasure cooking on wood and an array of beautifully smelling and bee attracting flowers, but it also helped us keep our bodies and minds in check during the pressures of not seeing our loved ones.
This is why we wanted to talk about Cultivation Street in this blog as it is an organisation that embodies everything we experienced during our lockdown gardening time. In case you haven't heard of Cultivation Street and what their work is all about, read on!
What is Cultivation street?
Cultivation Street campaign is centered around community. Through the means of social media and print, they have built a community filled with happiness and closeness, which celebrates getting outdoors and gardening with your neighbors and local communities. In their first year of establishment, they launched their campaign, which surprisingly achieved over £1 million pounds worth of media publicity. This stood them in good stead for their following years and 9 years later they have now gained over £4 million pounds worth of media coverage, are in contact with 1,000 plus schools and communities, and have 200 internal garden center ambassadors. Cultivation Street is a campaign founded by broadcaster David Domoney, with the focal aim of bringing beauty and pride back to Britain’s streets. Year on year, the team at Cultivation Street has grown not only internally but also within their community. 
How did it start?
One Winter evening, David Domoney was taking a stroll around his local neighborhood admiring the Christmas lights. He took notice of how the community pulled together around the festive season and this sparked his interest in something similar with gardening, a hobby he is very passionate about. Initially, he decided to create a garden competition that recognized and rewarded those who cared for the local community. At first, it started out as a front garden competition but quickly escalated to includes community, projects, schools, and clubs. To get the message out about the new upcoming competition and community, David partnered up with the newspaper, Sunday People, and now the Sunday Mirror. As a result, of this, the scheme has increased massively and is now very well known within the UK. 
What does Cultivation Street do?
Network & Support:
Through the years, the Cultivation Street campaign has increased its presence throughout the UK and has become very popular within the gardening community. One of the things this team offers is network and support. Not only has the campaign’s presence been felt nationally, but they have also now created a network of community gardens, schools, and garden centers. They offer support and guidance to said organizations and help them to increase their connections. They are also on standby to offer advice and answer any queries if needs be.
Since the start of Cultivation Street, they have also run an annual competition, which gives away thousands of pounds worth of prizes a year. They have a variety of categories and always encourage all individuals, schools, and community groups to sign up. Over the years, this competition increases in value and has become a great attraction for their campaign.
Garden Ambassadors are another vital component of this organization and over 200 ambassadors are on hand to offer quality garden advice, recommendations, and support for individuals, community groups, and schools. They offer advice over budgets, sources and help build connections within the local community. Are you interested in becoming your local garden ambassador, if so, take a look at their website: https://cultivationstreet.com/find-a-cultivation-street-garden-centre-ambassador-near-you/
For their local schools, community groups, and ambassadors, Cultivation Street offers their consumers free resource packs, which include a variety of activities, recipes, and worksheets. This scheme encourages active engagement within younger communities and inspires them to become more involved within their communities. 
Benefits of Community Gardens:
Community gardens can greatly benefit not only the environment but also the local community and the individual.
On the individual, regular gardening can not only improve your physical health but also your mental health. Whatever age you are it is vital that if you can, you keep active. Gardening is surprisingly a great way to burn calories and can help you keep strong and limber. Additionally, being surrounded by fresh produce daily will only encourage you to eat healthily and gardening is the most natural way to create this interest. Lastly, it is a great method of clearing the mind and staying in a good headspace. This is more commonly known as Horticultural Therapy and has many proven benefits.
Community garden encourages inclusivity, fairness, and tolerance. Spending more time with people, and less time on technology will have an immediate positive effect on everyone, especially those who feel disconnected from the world. Community gardening or projects are a great way to get to know your neighbors more and also helps bridge the gap in generations.
Aside from the obvious benefits of growing food sustainably and locally, which not only cuts down pesticide usage but also fuel costs, community gardening can transform the environment in many shapes and forms. By driving forward the larger movement of ecological urbanism, issues like flooding and drainage systems will hopefully become less prominent and through methods like community gardens, human communities and ecosystems can live in harmony. Want to learn more about the impacts of community gardens, click here:
Want to learn more about Cultivation Street? Click Here!