Christmas is a time when recycling comes to the fore. With the celebrations over for another year, residents are being urged to recycle their Christmas trees – and those who respond to the plea could see their festive foliage turned into organic compost at Clapham’s Growing with Grace.

The nursery – which has been at the cutting edge of organic and environmentally sound horticulture and vegetable production for 12 years – has just become a regional training hub and demonstration site for community composting.

It is one of 12 hubs across England for the Community Composting for Local Food project and will deliver training, advice, equipment loan and support services to local groups who want to grow fruit and vegetables more sustainably by developing composting at their own sites.

The scheme was set up by the Community Composting Network with funding from the Big Lottery Local Food programme.

Established in July 2000, Growing with Grace became a community-owned co-operative in 2011 following challenging times financially and a plea to the community for support to protect the business, which is dedicated to supplying sustainably grown produce to local people and firms.

Its composting scheme reduces landfill by taking green waste, collected from the local community by Craven District Council, and converting it into good quality compost.

Not only is it locally sourced and made, but it is also Peat Free and Soil Association approved for organic use.

And its worth has already been proved at the nursery site – where the ill-used and neglected soil has been turned into rich, living, fertile land.

The compost is sold in 40 litre bags and all profits are reinvested into local community schemes to help adults and children learn more about the importance of recycling, understand how food is linked to the environment and adopt healthy eating habits and lifestyles.

As part of the Community Composting for Local Food project, Growing with Grace will host a three-day composting course on July 6, 13 and 20.

The nusery also has a host of other courses on offer, ranging from organic pest and disease control to healing gifts.

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