Leeds Little Veg Library event celebrates climate action and community connection

The Little Veg Library network shows how small community food hubs can have a huge impact on inspiring, connecting and empowering people to take climate action.

Little Veg Libraries and sustainable food growing workshop in Leeds. Credit: FoodWise Leeds

Little Veg Libraries and sustainable food growing workshop in Leeds. Credit: FoodWise Leeds

FoodWise Leeds, Feed Leeds and Season Well held a successful and sunny Little Veg Libraries and sustainable food growing workshop in June.

Funded by Climate Action Leeds and hosted at Left Bank Leeds, the workshop brough together more than 20 community members attending, including members of Climate Action Leeds Community Hubs and others interested in community food growing. 

Feed Leeds facilitated discussions about Little Veg Libraries (LVL), how to set up & maintain a library, the benefits of these micro sharing hubs, and how to overcome common challenges.

What is a Little Veg Library? Developed in Leeds and inspired by Little Book Libraries, LVLs are accessible structures in public places where people who are already growing their own food can share excess seeds, seedlings, surplus produce, books, tools and more with people who are new to food growing. They are usually looked after by volunteers from a community organisation, and some are connected to Climate Action Hubs. Check out Feed Leeds' guide on how to set up a Little Veg Library in your community.

Existing coordinators shared their experiences of running LVLs and while others sought advice on setting up a LVL for their own community.

Little Veg Libraries are a great example of the role of infrastructure - including micro structures - in helping communities to connect with one another, share resources, and get involved in healthy and sustainable food activities. These are just some of the resources highlighted in the Good Food Movement Guide as vital in supporting a thriving community food culture at a neighbourhood level. 

Attendees took part in a ‘Take Action’ group discussion that resulted in 20+ new pledges, including:

“A pop-up veg library outside our allotment. Plan to share seeds, pots, seedlings, excess veg, printed recipes” 

“To buy/cook seasonally + support local food waste organisations/teams”

“Look out for local groups involved in growing veg to join up and contribute”

A variety of practical activities followed, facilitated by Season Well, to help empower more people to grow their own food at home. These activities ranged from planting salad seeds in a punnet, making paper planters for bean seeds, pricking out tomatoes and making LVL signs. 

This workshop is part of FoodWise Leeds' #eyesonsilver campaign, as they work towards their Sustainable Food Places Silver Award later in 2023. The evening combined the promotion of LVLs with sustainable food growing to help improve access to fresh, local and sustainable food, empower communities to take climate action through increasing food growing skills and overall continue to build the good food movement in Leeds.