AN ACTOR has swapped the small screen for green fingers, as he takes on a project to supply produce to food banks.
Amer Nazir, originally from Sheffield, has lived in Chirk for the past 10 years and has acted alongside the likes of Peter Kay, Sarah Lancashire and the cast of Coronation Street and EastEnders, but now he has taken on a different kind of role.
For the past year, Amer has turned his hand to gardening and has taken on a plot of land owned by Network Rail, adjacent to his house.
His permaculture project, Raising Crops, aims to provide a sustainable source of fresh seasonal produce to food banks.
“I began growing lots of different types of vegetables, and there was only so much I could pass on to family and friends,” said the actor.
“I know that food banks are always in great need of produce, and a lot of the time the food they are given is tinned or processed. I thought it would be nice to actually be able to give fresh food that could be passed on to those in need.”
Amer spent five months transforming the landscape, creating what he calls an “uber-organic” habitat for fruit and vegetables to grow in. He uses methods such as covering the ground in cardboard to encourage worms, which creates a better soil and in turn better produce.
“I’m also looking to introduce frogs and toads to keep away the slugs and snails who eat the produce. And eventually I’ll get bees on the site, so I can produce honey once a year,” continued Amer.
“I’ll get it right in time.”
Amer said that his produce would go to food banks located in Oswestry, Wrexham, Cefn Mawr and Llangollen, and hopes any produce that is left over would be passed on to street kitchens and be cooked up for the homeless.
“It’s a very different project for me, but I am thoroughly enjoying it and hopefully it will make a difference and encourage others to do the same,” said Amer.