A mother of three children on disability benefits claims to have fed nearly 800 people after converting flowerbeds into quotas amid a cost-of-living crisis.
Carly Byrd, from Harrow, Essex, said she “panked” when she first heard about rising food and petrol prices last summer and decided to start growing her own produce to help with the bills. It is said that it was made
The 43-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis and lupus, couldn’t afford to buy a planter, so in June 2022, she decided to make her own using scrap wood.
Within three weeks, the thrifty parents were growing their own potatoes, carrots, turnips, weeds and leeks and sharing the vegetables with other struggling people in the community.
Carly Bird, 43, from Harrow, Essex, dug up her garden last summer when she first heard about the cost of living crisis.Photo: His mother of three in the garden
Carly said, “I have multiple sclerosis, so I’m disabled. I have the bare minimum of money, less than what you need to survive.”
“So when they say there was a cost of living crisis, you don’t have to tell me twice. That’s a massive warning.”
“I wasn’t just thinking about me. I was thinking about everyone I knew in Harlow who struggled to fit that criteria.
The panicked mother says she never thought twice about digging up flowerbeds, especially after seeing how much her produce was helping other households.
Photo: Carly and her son Jude in their front garden.Mother now grows her own potatoes, carrots, turnips, weeds and leeks
Carly has fed nearly 800 people over the past six months by sharing local produce with the community.Photo: Some of the vegetables grown by mother
In the past six months, Carly says she has fed nearly 800 people with the vegetables she grows. Carly puts vegetables in her package of care, along with food donations from kind-hearted locals.
The mother makes up to a week’s worth of seasonal vegetables for home delivery 20 times a week to feed her family of four.
“For me, it’s a walk in the park, not an effort, but people tell me it’s wonderful and life-changing.
“They said they could buy heating because they no longer had to spend money on food.”
Carly also conducts weekly drop-offs for the households most in need.Pictured: Carly loads her car to deliver vegetables to her struggling family
Left: Carly has dozens of pots for growing vegetables in her garden.Right: The food table Carly put out to support the local community
Following this success, Carly is now working on another farm near her home to grow more food for struggling families.
As news of her project began to spread, Carly says she began receiving “heartbreaking” messages from people in need of help across the country.
She added: “I’m going to keep pushing, so this is going to be big, but in the meantime there’s nothing I can do to help everyone else. and I was completely fed up with Rishi Sunak.
I thought, “Sit here and try to say no to these people.”Try turning to them and saying they can’t eat food [like I have to]’. it breaks my heart
Every inch of Kali’s garden is allotted.She made her own planter from her scrap wood to save money on her June 2022
Left: Curly poses with one of her planters in her garden.Right: Curly holding home-grown vegetables
‘I did all this with a minus [credit balance], so what the hell is the government doing? It took him six months to change the lives of 779 people.
“I feel like I’m just getting started. In my head, I’m looking five years into the future and I see what I want at the end.
“But we can never be satisfied with what we are doing until the end. The end result is that we are working together as a community.”
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