Creating sustainable funding streams that allow ongoing work is a conversation that is always raised whenever a group of Incredible Edible groups come together in a regional meeting.
It takes creativity and imagination for sure, and for groups to thrive it’s important to look at sustainable funds that groups can manage and not spend hours in front of computers writing funding bids for. This generally means some type of community enterprise, however small, that brings in enough to make sure that core activities can take place.
So last week we spoke to Sandra from Incredible Edible Brighouse, who was keen to chat about how they manage this, and use the slightly quieter growing time over Christmas to do so. Brighouse has a weekly Christmas market at the weekends leading up to the day itself, and the group take a stall each year. Each year they have sold plants, herbs, jams and other preserves made and grown by the group.
This year however they took a leap of faith, and bought 600 hyacinth bulbs and 80 containers, planting up the bulbs, and selling them on a stall at the Christmas market. These sold like hot cakes, and the few bulbs that were left over were planted out in the town centre planters so the whole community could also enjoy them! There’s photo of the planted up containers at the top of this article-don’t they look incredible?
The group also attend a local gala and events at local garden centres, where members of their team do face painting and make tiny gardens in trays with children. The small cost they charge for this pays for materials and pays back into the work the group is achieving in Brighouse.
What we love about all of this work at Incredible Edible Brighouse is that rather than sitting at computer screens writing funding bids, these events give the group the opportunity to connect with more people across their community, whilst also raising funds and showing that community enterprise can support communities in a truly circular local economy.