Growing your own fruit and vegetables can be a great way to keep your body and your mind healthy

Home-grown fruit and vegetables can also help you achieve eating the recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables as part of your diet, and can reduce your food bills.

Portsmouth has a number of initiatives to provide you with advice and experience to grow your own fruit and vegetables. A wide range of volunteering opportunities are also available.

Community allotment

The community allotment is a council project that has been running since 2002 and has made an important contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of many Portsmouth residents.

The community allotment has four plots (with disabled access), two poly tunnels with space for indoor activities, as well as an area to observe nature.

The allotment offers a calm and relaxing environment where you can learn about growing fruit and vegetables, build your confidence, and make friends in a group setting. There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer and help with the upkeep of the allotment – green fingers are not essential!

Portsmouth residents can get involved in the community allotment themselves and health and social care professionals can also make referrals.

For more information about the community allotment, email iwt@portsmouthcc.gov.uk, or phone 023 9284 1762.

Tips on growing food

There are many factsheets available online about growing your own fruit and vegetables:

Community orchards and council allotments

Portsmouth City Council has over 1,400 allotment plots at eleven sites throughout the city. They are so popular that all have waiting lists.

Other useful growing information

  • The National Association of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners helps gardeners with advice and offers support for smooth running of allotments
  • Thrive is a national charity which researches, educates and promotes the use and advantages of gardening for people with a disability
  • Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens offers community-led and managed projects.