Growing Local

Growing Local is ICA’s food and environment project. Its key aims are to:

  • Help make affordable, healthy and nutritious food more accessible.
  • Encourage engagement with and support for local wildlife and the environment.
  • Increase understanding around the links between food, including its production and transportation, the natural world and climate change.

Growing Local provides opportunities for residents to volunteer and participate in ‘hands-on’ activities that not only develop their skills and interest in growing and cooking, but also provides them with the confidence and knowledge to make healthier food choices, adopt more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyles and feel more connected to their community and environment.

Growing Local activities include:

  • Beginner, advanced and specialist cookery classes and growing courses
  • Food based social and intergenerational activities
  • Food sharing initiatives
  • Nature and environment related activities and events.

In addition, Growing Local is working in partnership to deliver the following projects:

  • Slow Memory And A Flourishing Future – An ongoing collaboration with EDEN Portland and Nottingham Trent University focused on the environment and memory.
  • Growing Local with Atlantic Academy – A new project that will see us work with the Academy and its students to deliver a wildlife garden and a range of growing, cooking and environment enrichment activities. 

The project will work with a network of local experts and enthusiasts to help shape and deliver these activities, including Portland Town Council, Royal Manor Health Centre, Atlantic Academy, Portland 4 The Planet, Portland Foodbank, NHS / CCG, Public Health Dorset and a range of local experts and enthusiasts.

A little bit of history…

Growing Local grew out of ICA’s Portland Pride project, which was set up in 2012 to promote Portland and its local crafts and food offer. Here are just a few of Portland Pride’s achievements:

  1. The Portland Pride shop and mobile market offer
    • Supported over 30 producers supported to expand or kick-start their own businesses through the Portland Pride shop (2012-2014)
    • Attended over 60 events, selling locally produced food and crafts, through our mobile market (2013-2017).
  2. The Portland Pride Growing Local pilot (2016-17)…
    • Delivered 125 cookery sessions (beginners, advanced and specialist)
    • Ran 104 horticultural ‘grow your own’ sessions (beginners, advanced, specialist and family).

And finally…

We would like to extend a massive thank you to the talented team at Red Stone, whose generosity, creativity and talent brought the Portland Pride brand to life.