Green shoots in the local economy

Martin Obodo
Martin Obodo

Story & photo: Graham Jones

Burngreave resident, Martin Obodo, is a man with a vision. He is working hard to develop an inspired local ‘Aquapon’ project which has a clear focus on benefits for the community and the environment in Burngreave. His basic aim is for local people to tend vegetable boxes and then share the produce with others.

He believes that this should spin off many community benefits including a fresh food supply, reconnecting local people with nature, learning various skills and knowledge about a wide range of fruit and vegetables, an increased sense of belonging to the community and opportunities for people from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds to come together.

Martin has always been a keen gardener and since childhood has felt close to nature. While he was growing up in Sheffield, Martin's neighbours were all gardeners and shared their produce. He says,

“All my neighbours did it and, as a result, everyone knew each other, we had something which can be called a community. I am hoping to restore this old way of doing things, a lesson from my past that I want to provide for the future generations.”

Martin works full time as an IT engineer at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. In his spare time he volunteers at Holly Hagg permaculture project and has another aquaponic smallholding in Walkley. Martin says:

“The inspiration for my project is a man named Will Allen. He has a farm called ‘Growing Power’ and he is an inspiration to me.”

Martin is seeking participants in Burngreave and Pitsmoor to volunteer in his community gardening project. "I need people to help maintain raised beds, feed plants on a regular basis and help to install future growing systems.

“Participants will learn basic gardening, joinery, soil management, bio-diversity management and how to engage with people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life.

We will give a portion of our produce to the New Roots charity shop. In helping our project you can be ensured that you are aiding charitable causes. Our project is working with New Roots who have a large network of activists and volunteers.”

The project is currently funded through a crowd funding campaign, which raised £90 in £1 pledges. This is a non-profit enterprise and any profit will go straight into more growing systems for future members of the enterprise.

For more details on how you can be involved in Martin's project, email or for more general information visit

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The content on this page was added to the website by Priya Blackham on 2015-03-23 13:32:52.
The content of the page was last modified by Gaby Spinks on 2016-10-07 12:17:48.

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