Green Business Awards 2009: Green business - Green service (micro-organisations)

WINNER - DIG IT PROJECTS

by
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Dig It Projects is a garden landscaping company run by its owner Richard Smith in Cleveland. The company installs allotment gardens in schools to grow fresh fruit and vegetables and at the same time raise awareness on healthier-living issues.

Dig It's aim is to provide an allotment-style garden in every school. It has completed nearly 30 projects to date, mainly working with primary schools in the Cleveland and Redcar area. Lively demand based on positive feedback from early customers has enabled the company to expand by employing two members of staff in addition to the owner.

Each allotment garden is made using raised beds to provide a good working height for small children and adults alike. As well as installing gardens, the company offers ongoing garden maintenance services and periodic site 'health checks'.

On installing a school garden, Dig It additionally offers workshops and training to guide pupils and teachers on issues ranging from '5-a-day' fruit and vegetable consumption and reducing food miles and carbon footprint to rainwater harvesting, using installed waterbutts and composting of garden and kitchen waste.

Other topics covered include healthy lifestyle and obesity, wildlife and ecology benefits, packaging reduction through local production and integration of on-site produce into school meals, and cookery lessons.

Dig It has created a website to provide information on school allotment gardens and simple advice on garden management, including features such as planting and harvesting calendars for different crops and advice on how to deal with plant pests and diseases. The website also aims to encourage interaction between schools with allotment gardens, and to help schools to show their work to local communities. The company encourages community input into running gardens - for example, through after-school clubs.

Dig It is registered with the Change 4 Life scheme for healthier living run by the NHS, as well as the Government's 5-a-Day initiative to encourage higher consumption of fruit and vegetables.

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WEB LINKS

Dig It Projects

http://www.digitprojects.com/

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