A group of women have started to garden on various patches of land that were previously disused and derelict. Allotments that were once covered in bindweed and bramble are now full of herbs and vegetables. A plot of land on the edge of Small Heath Park, in Birmingham, which had been used to store machinery and waste, now contains raised beds in which onions, carrots, rhubarb, potatoes and lettuce are growing. In the corner of the same plot there is a small greenhouse, a poly-tunnel, where seedlings are thinned in the Spring and tomatoes are ripened in late Summer. The women are busy watering, weeding, hoeing, preparing beds, checking soil fertility, staking out plants and chatting. They are growing more organic vegetables than they can eat now. From time to time they cook for open days and festivals. There’s a plan, an ambitious plan on the part of the project leader, to turn their attention to forming a cooperative and running a café. Before they started the gardening the women had relatively few contacts outside their families, and few places to go where they could safely enjoy being outdoors. Their health had improved, they say,1 and they have developed new, or re-discovered old, skills. The gardens were important.