Stay Home, Grow Your Own

To support the wellbeing of Maldon District residents, Maldon District Council and Abberton Rural Training (ART) are working in partnership to bring a new community initiative to encourage residents to ‘Stay At Home, Grow Your Own’.

Councillor Bryan Harker, Chairman of the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee and Livewell member, said; The aim of the initiative is to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviours during the coronavirus pandemic, such as healthy cooking, staying active at home and to be part of something in the community that supports vulnerable residents who are at risk of social isolation. 

There are a limited number of free starter kits available to get people growing their own at home, we would like these to go to Key Workers, individuals or families with financial difficulty, and/or individuals with a physical or mental impairment, or a health condition”

Jacqui Stone, the Chief Executive of ART said, “Growing your own produce at home can happen from your windowsill, a window box, on a balcony, a courtyard or garden. You can create seed trays from newspaper, planting tubes from toilet roll inserts and recycled household waste, including yogurt pots, margarine containers and plastic bottles. Being able to pick fresh lettuce for your salad or sandwich is unbeatable!

Anyone can grow their own. It’s very satisfying to grow something from seed and rewarding to look after your plant until it is ready to eat!

It’s great to be able to support key workers, alongside other vulnerable groups, to help them keep healthy.  Everyone can take part; we would really encourage people to go to to see how easy it is”

To see if you qualify for a free starter kit you can scan the QR code or visit  

The initiative hopes to introduce how growing your own can bring a more nutritious, diverse and healthy diet as fruit and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, and herbs can be used for seasoning to replace added salt.

Working in the garden provides a light form of physical activity to keep active at home, which brings a range of benefits to mental and physical health. Being outdoors boosts vitamin D levels (under certain sunlight conditions) and offers stress relief and support for emotional wellbeing.

The hope is that residents in Maldon will benefit from the initiative immediately and take what they have learned forward into the future which will save money on fruit and vegetables, as well as having wider environmental benefits for the whole district.

Toms Farm Shop in Great Totham are supporting the scheme and have generously offered to deliver the starter packs to qualifying residents free of charge. Tom Gregan, owner of Tom’s Farm Shop, said; “We wanted to support the scheme to help people who are struggling and feeling isolated at this difficult time. I think that’s it’s important that we all come together and help where we can. We also wanted to show our appreciation to the Key Workers who are holding our community together.

We were keen to support Abberton Rural Training and the Council who we know are working really hard at the moment to help lots of people in need of support. Although we have been thin on the ground, I will continue to supply fresh produce and work hard behind the scenes to back this important project” 

To get involved visit ART’s YouTube Channel for online tutorials which are easy to follow and ART’s Website to access information and activity sheets

If you are growing your own, please join Abberton Rural Training online communitywww.Facebook/abbertonruraltraining to help spread the word about how much better you are feeling for getting involved in growing your own.

Don’t forget to tag @MaldonDC and #livewell to encourage others to grow their own too! #StayAtHomeGrowYourOwn #EatWellAtHome #livewell #ART #AbbertonRuralTraining #KeepingActiveAtHome #StayInWorkOut  @ART @MDC