Families in need set to receive fresh fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are being grown from seed and distributed to local food banks and people in need – all part of a new project being co-ordinated by Groundwork Northamptonshire.

Fresh, locally grown produce is being sown in a trio of Victorian glass houses, based in Delapré Abbey’s Walled Garden, to create row upon row of  ‘plug plants’ – young plants which can then be transplanted to containers or gardens.

Food is also being grown in the vegetable beds inside the Abbey’s Walled Gardens, with volunteers from local businesses and community groups helping to sow, seed, water and distribute.

Nathan Wearn-Hutter, Green Manager at Groundwork Northamptonshire, said: “We will be selling our plug plants, fruit and vegetables to the public and lots of our plants and produce will be distributed to food banks in neighbouring communities, to then share with people most in need. We will also be growing extra plug plants for local schools and families, so that children in particular can be taught to grow their own produce from home.”

This unique food growing and distribution project, being run in partnership with Delapré Abbey in Northampton, is being funded by real estate investor and developer Firethorn Trust and will run until October 2023.

Currently growing are a host of winter produce, everything from onions and garlic to winter salads, rocket, beetroot and herbs. In spring 2023 produce such as potatoes, carrots, salads, tomatoes, sweetcorn, and pumpkins will be sown.

Richard Clinton, Chief Executive of Delapré Abbey, said: “This is the perfect example of partnership working, utilising our grounds and growing produce that will not only support food banks such as Food Aid Far Cotton, but also help people learn new growing and planting skills. Some of the fruit and vegetables will also go to our own kitchens.”

Nathan added: “By next Spring we aim to have an electric assisted cargo tricycle so that we can deliver produce to food banks, schools, community centres and families. We are committed to helping as many people as possible, particularly children, grow fruit and vegetables from home.”

Chris Webb, Partner at Firethorn Trust, said: “We’re delighted to support this important project in Northampton as part of our long-term charitable partnership with Groundwork. As a real estate investor and developer, we’re committed to supporting the local areas in which we invest and develop and the community hub garden at Delapré Abbey will provide training, food growing and food distribution to those most in need.

“We hope it will become a valued resource for the local community and create a dedicated space for people to garden, grow and access nature together.”

Would you like to support this project, perhaps by donating or volunteering? Groundwork Northamptonshire are keen to hear from you. Simply email: