Unease about future food costs and availability, a sense that the local economy should be supported, and the knowledge that many people are becoming worse off financially, are creating an impetus for the voluntary group Llandeilo Growers. Founded a year ago, the first annual meeting on March 19th in The Angel, Llandeilo, saw a lively discussion on the best ways forward. Strong support came for a plan to grow vegetables in a small way initially, and to offer training to beginner growers who could then become food growers in their own right.
The idea is not to set up in competition with commercial growers, but to raise levels of horticultural expertise within the community, and to experiment with different plant varieties to see which ones tolerate local conditions best.
More than 350 replies were received to a survey earlier this year, asking people throughout east Carmarthenshire for their views on food growing, distribution and retailing. Anson Allen, one of Llandeilo Growers’ five directors, is delighted with the level of response and is busy analysing the survey findings. Newly appointed a director is Peter Clarke, an experienced commercial vegetable grower originally from Denham, Buckinghamshire, and a consultant to Western International, a big wholesale produce market in Heston, Middlesex. Mr Clarke now lives in Llandybie.