Gwynedd Environmental Partnership is launching the 2012 Food Garden Competition to inspire people to grow their own food.
The competition has been sponsored by Fron Goch Gardening Centre and winners will each receive £50 vouchers to spend at Fron Goch.
The judge this year is Russell Jones, presenter of gardening shows on S4C. Recently, Russell went to see the vegetable garden at Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle, Penygroes – winners of last year’s competition. The school used its vouchers to buy a poly-tunnel for growing vegetables and during his visit Russell helped the pupils to harvest some of their potatoes.
Again this year, the competition is open to gardens producing fruit, vegetables or herbs in Gwynedd whatever the scale - from a few pots on a windowsill to a full vegetable patch.
This year there are two categories - Private Gardens and Schools.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is becoming increasingly popular as people realise the economic, environmental and personal benefits.
Research shows that gardening can provide health an wellbeing benefits - it is a great form of exercise, encourages people to enjoy the outdoors and can reduce stress and give the grower an enourmous sense of wellbeing. Many gardeners will tell of the satisfaction of growing, picking, cooking and eating their own food, knowing exactly how it has been produced.
The environmental benefits of growing your own food is well reported. It can dramatically cut food miles - a quarter of all heavy lorries on our roads are carrying food between farms, processing units, food storage depots and supermarkets. Experts believe that the future of food will be uncertain due to climate change, population growth and resource shortages. Growing your own food could be one way to adapt and prepare for these changes.
Gardening is also a great for children - it could boost their interest in food and how it is produced, and gets them closer to nature.
Gardeners of all ages and experience can enter the Gwynedd competition and organisers are especially keen to hear for those new to growing vegetables, fruits or herbs. We would like to see the variety of produce that you grow, and learn about your experiences and any problems encountered.
To receive an application form or for more information send an email to PartneriaethAmgylcheddol@gwynedd.gov.uk or phone 01286 679652. The closing date for schools is 17 July 2012 and for private gardens 27 September 2012. For further information go to www.pagwynedd.org or phone 01286 679652.