The Big Dig is all about getting people involved in their local community garden.

We hold national events to promote edible gardens and encourage people to volunteer.

Edible Gardens Open Day 2013

194 community gardens across 20 towns and cities took part in Edible Gardens Open Day. Here are just some of the comments and highlights from the day:

Harvest Demo Garden, Brighton

“Our Big Dig day at the Harvest Demo Garden was extremely successful - many people who had never visited us came and joined in our workday and were very keen to get their hands dirty and help with digging up potatoes, sowing green manure and having a leisurely cup of tea with us. Several people were visiting other projects and the Big Dig really helped making us all feel connected and part the much bigger picture”

Wish Park, Brighton

“ We had a great Big Dig session at Wish Park this afternoon, with vegetable fritters being cooked and shared by all, after picking and chopping the produce first. There were around 20 people, a mix of children and adults. One lady said 'I think you've done a fabulous job. I always enjoy walking past and seeing what you've done'. Another said - 'I remember when this park was just a football pitch and now it has all these interesting things going on - there's something for everyone now'. There was a great atmosphere of shared enjoyment of the garden, growing and harvesting, helped by the sunshine!”

Poole Town Community Garden, Poole

"The kids had great fun digging up the potatoes, it was like looking for buried treasure! "

SMILE Connect Community Garden, Poole

"We had a fab big dig weeding, harvesting, planting pansies and spring bulbs for the Mummies to take home. SO chuffed, certainly inspiring a few more of our mums to come down and get involved. Looking forward to hearing when the next one is! "

 Incredible Edible Prestwich (nr Manchester)

"This was by far our most successful Big Dig event.   Over 100 people visited the garden in the course of the afternoon and around 16 new volunteer families signed up.Through leaflets through doors we attracted local people to a site that is well-hidden and little known or understood – billed as ‘Prestwich’s best kept secret".

Northern Quarter Greening, Manchester

"Bunting up, gingham tablecloth on, home grown veg and herbs and handmade cards displayed to sell, biscuits made that morning put out, kettle on, the site was ready for visitors!We had a good turnout of volunteers about 10 in total including the star of the day 8 year old Malachy.We had lots of interest from locals and passerspay alike who wanted to know about our group"

Manchester Environment Resource Centre Initiative 'MERCi', Manchester

"Highlight of the day for me personally was the visit we had from Eve. She was on a cycle ride, noticed the poster on the gate and decided to come in. A keen gardener, originally from Zimbabwe, she said she would like to get involved and that she had some plants we might like. She came back later with an avocado,some unusual squash seeds and a Zimbabwean cabbage.

The Kitchen Garden at Turton Tower, Bolton

"Three eager volunteers arrived to set up for our open day to be greeted by drizzly rain and grey skies.  Right on cue, at 10.00am Daisy arrived with her dad to have a look around the Kitchen Garden.  She chose cabbage seeds to sow and marked out a drill in our Brassica bed.  After that we had a steady stream of under-11s arriving with her parents and most of the children got their hands dirty sowing seeds, planting, deadheading, digging and raking or tried our leaf hunt. The sun had arrived by the afternoon, bringing more visitors so we stayed open longer than planned. It was great that so many local families had come to see the Kitchen Garden.  It was especially nice to see families who had been involved in our August family sessions"

Horwich Harvest, Horwich (nr Manchester)

"The Big Dig Edible Garden Open Day was a great end to the Big Dig project which our garden has been part of over the last eighteen months.By having a focus, inviting local people to visit your project and a theme, ‘volunteering’,’ Edible Gardens’ has been a really useful experience and has also attracted new people to our garden".

The Big Dig

The Big Dig is a nationwide project which aims to get more people involved in community food-growing. The Big Dig is a project of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

The Big Dig
C/o Sustain
Development House
56 - 64 Leonard Street