Grow 73

  • Grow 73 in Rutherglen is a charity helping people of all ages and abilities to grow their own produce, learn how to lead more sustainable lives, and support local biodiversity. Established in 2015 this group has transformed a piece of unused, contaminated land into a thriving community hub.  
  • Why did you come to help@? What we do can be complex, and we wanted to learn from others through the service on a range of topics, including growing on contaminated land, composting toilets, and different models of community engagement for our raised bed system. We wanted an independent and knowledgeable perspective on land use and developing our work. 
  • How is the advisory service helpful? We receive direct, practical, up-to-date advice informed by learned experience from across Scotland and connection to specialist advisors and other projects and groups. I have a ‘go to place’ to continue to connect with help@ to work through an idea or issue as they arise. I also share our expertise and experiences to support other communities in Scotland. For example, when we were looking for a composting toilet, we got advice on what worked for projects in similar settings; this guided us to spend our money wisely, install and operate it correctly, and now we have groups coming to see our composting toilet to see if it works for them.
  • Why would you recommend help@? For people and projects starting out, having a vision to making it happen can often start with a period of ‘where to start’? We want to dive in and do it, yet we don’t have all the knowledge and experience we will need. Established projects still need support for new opportunities and challenges, this is much more than tips and information you get online or from other networks, this is the expert network focused on community-led food growing, with advice, coaching, and mentoring that helps us juggle, focus on and accelerate our core work. We all get stronger by working together. Picking up the phone or just sending an email and knowing I have an ally to guide me through the issues is liberating. This type of support is unique and priceless. 




Community Learning Exchange

In our growing settings we tend, coax and feed our crops so that they bear more fruit. In essence, the Community Learning Exchange does just that- it acknowledges that to nourish and sustain community-led growth, some cross-pollination and a sprinkling of nourishment are required. So, in these quieter growing months, you might take the time to collectively reflect on where or what is next for your group.

The Community Learning Exchange offers an excellent opportunity for community-growing groups to explore and develop new ideas and sustainable ways of working.  Over the years, countless groups growing in community gardens, orchards and allotments have met to share and reflect on best practice development in their settings. Our network is undoubtedly stronger, wiser and better connected as a result. Practical examples include groups seeking support to design and build a community growing space on a budget and allotment growers seeking support with establishing communal composting facilities.  Groups have also sought support on ‘practice development’ such as sustainable approaches to finance and running youth volunteer programmes. With over 15 years of grassroots development, there is now a wealth of experience amongst growers of all kinds, and this fund recognises that.

So, if you are starting out, in stages of a new development or seeking ideas to sustain your group, you may find inspiration or sage advice from others within the network.

If you’d like to develop your idea and submit an application, we’d love to hear from you help@.


Pockets and Prospects Fund

We have a number of funds up to £500 to distribute to groups growing areas of economic disadvantage. If you are a constituted growing group with an idea where you know a small spend would make a big difference please make contact help@ This fund requires a very short application and ‘light touch’ reporting. New applicants will be given priority. We are happy to discuss your ideas.

Groups from across Scotland have used the funds to:

  • Buy ingredients to support community meals
  • Buy a strimmer and other tools
  • Install and plant raised growing beds throughout their community
  • Run workshops with sessional staff
  • Plant up an unused area of land with fruit trees
  • Extend water catchment systems for polytunnel growing and a heap more..

The Pockets and Prospects Fund is funded via the Scottish Community Alliance’s Community Capacity and Resilience Fund. Read more about the Alliance‘s work here.