Sowing New Seeds - Evaluation

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Headlines Findings of Coventry University Evaluation 

In 2013 and 2012, the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS) at Coventry University carried out evaluations of Garden Organic's work for the Sowing New Seeds project. The purpose of this was to evaluate the impact of the project particularly on some of the social, cultural and health issues. Evaluation was carried out through questionnaires and focus group workshops.

Here are some headlines from the report.
If you want to study the evaluations in more detail, you can download the full reports below.

Growing Skills

As we hoped, SNS had a significant impact on people’s knowledge of growing exotic crops and therefore their choice of what to grow in the future.

  • 96% of respondents reported an increase in growing exotic crops

“Planted haloon in August, tried white maize for the first time” “Learnt how to propagate thyme and lemongrass ”  

Cultural integration

A wide range of cultures took part in the project, 47% from ethnic minority groups. Overall, 29 different nationalities were represented.
  SNS acted as a vehicle for bringing communities together that may not have otherwise met. It did this through providing a common talking point: food, something that is integral to all cultures.
  * 74% of people who took part said that it had improved their understanding of other cultures.

“Workshops introduced me to Bangladeshis and Zimbabweans.” 

“I  think  if we  sat  down  and  said,  ‘everybody  from  different  parts  of  the  community come  together;  sit  together  and  make  friends’  it  wouldn’t  work,  but  we’ve  got something else to be doing and something to focus on… I  love  talking  to people about the things they are growing, what they are eating and things like that” 

Health and life satisfaction

Many of the improvements to health and well-being are complicated and interconnected, so are not easy to quantify. As a general indicator it was found that:   * 50%  of  participants  felt  that  their  life  satisfaction  has  increased  since  participating  in  the  SNS  project   Most of these benefits to well-being were brought about through the social impact of the project:  

“Feel  more  connected  to  other  nationalities  and  have  more  food  and  gardening knowledge”   “Growing is a great therapy and stress reliever”