This category will be judged by a panel of Incredible Edible Lambeth Directors and a guest judge
Nominated by Ashley Fripp
Rob’s “allotment”, on his driveway in Oaks Avenue, is practically a farm, both in action and evolution. He calls it his ‘bonkers veg patch’, as it just grows and grows in size! Rob doesn’t have a car, but is lucky to have a South facing driveway. As it’s the sunniest part of his outdoor space, he has been growing vegetables there since the first lockdown. Sustainability is central. All the growing containers are pre-loved. The skip-sourced water tanks and pots, and donated old compost bags, are filled partly with top soil found about the place (skips and donated) and mostly his home made, “bloody beautiful”, compost, fed by kitchen and garden waste from his own and a few neighbours’ gardens. Water butts provide nearly all the water needs, while his heavy mulching and organic rich soil is key to reducing evaporation. No chemicals whatsoever, the fertiliser is home made, using nettles, comfrey, banana peels and occasionally seaweed when he can get it. Only the potatoes grown in old compost bags are spared his preferred “no dig” method of gardening. There is a wide range of veg growing, including the aforementioned potatoes, but also tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, cabbages (seedlings courteous of IEL), broccoli, runner and dwarf beans, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic (some already harvested and drying – see picture), spring onions, carrots, and strawberries. Added to this is a variety of herbs, plus a small orchard comprising 3 newly grafted apple trees all doing well, and Rob’s first attempt at grafting, though three years or so, away from fruiting. Most of these plants started their life in Rob’s South facing window sill next to his “allotment”, and in clear view of the street. At times in the Spring it has been heaving with growth, and the chillies and other plants still continue to enjoy the warmth there. Many of the seed he uses are from previously grown veg being allowed to go to seed, and sometimes supermarket bought potatoes and garlic, which have started to regrow. Rob’s is a garden of reuse, recycling and sustainability, with hopefully an abundance of produce, all going well with the rest of the season, and onwards!
Nominated by April Pinnock
Introduced to the garden world two years ago I’m still a bit of beginner. However I was welcomed to the Althatra community allotment garden and this allowed me to grow all the fruits and vegetables to my hearts content. My allotment space is 100% organic using pest free compost, I have a variety of vegetables on the grow such as beetroot, red cabbage, tomatoes, pumpkin, sweet peppers, scotch bonnet peppers and potatoes plus more. I built a structure in the middle of my space to support my pumpkins once they grow bigger and decorated the back of my space with some mirrors to reflect the sunlight as I’m under to large lime trees. I joined the garden as one of the youngest plot holders and I have grown a real passion for gardening, with the help and advice of others I have been able to have flourishing crops. Hopefully my camera is half decent enough to showcase my allotment .
Nominated by Jean Kerrigan
The new terraced vegetable garden constructed at the west end of the Brixton Windmill Centre. This new public growing space was planned and developed by FoWG volunteers in 2020 and planted over the winter of 2020-21with donated vegetable seedlings. In April 2021 a bed of heritage wheat was sown to inform windmill visitors (including school groups attending windmill workshops) about how wheat grain is produced. This helps them understand the process of milling wholemeal carried out by FoWG’s volunteer millers. Brixton Flour is sold locally and since March 2020 has been regularly donated to Lambeth foodbanks. Currently other beds in the terraced garden are planted Russian kale, and salad crops including beetroot, lettuce, sorrel, rocket and different varieties of tomatoes. There is also a culinary herb area planted with chives, dill, two varieties of marjoram, mint oregano and sage. Parks volunteers tend the garden at monthly workshops open to all and in between they water, weed and pick the produce to add to weekly donations that FoWG make to the local Blenheim Garden food bank who deliver food parcels to up to 60 households on the estate. The seasonal vegetable donations are made every Wednesday morning with donations from local residents who have allotments and gardens. The group also plant up seedlings in pots to add to the donations to encourage residents to grow on their balcony or garden if they have access to any growing space. The terraced garden is the latest improvement to Windmill Gardens carried out by FoWG volunteers. This year they have also expanded fruit growing in the park by planting a small orchard and adding gooseberries, raspberries and blackcurrant bushes to the border areas of the park to encourage foraging. The new BWC contains a well-equipped kitchen and the plan is to add jam and preserve making classes to the baking classes that the Friends have started to deliver as Covid-19 social distancing regulations have been eased. Other food growing spaces in the park that the Friends have improved in 2021 are the wildflower area behind the windmill which is planted up with plants that attract bees and other insects. Along the fence behind this wildflower strip they has have planted three types of hops. The group also look after the herb bed near the children’s playground that was first established by them in 2016 and is filled with a variety of medicinal and culinary herbs including camomile, curry plants, a well-established bay, fennel, several rosemary and lavender bushes, lemon balm, Russian sage and more. Local people regularly pick these.
Nominated by Catherine Pengelly
In Autumn 2020 the newly formed Central Hill Estate Gardening Group agreed with Lambeth to use 5 large planters for growing veg. They had neglected shrubs in or were empty. We filled them with topsoil and mushroom compost which was a big task with help from lots of residents and neighbours. We received seeds and seedlings from Incredible Efible Lambeth as well as donated plants from neighbours. We have 4 types of beans, cauliflowers, sweet corn, peas, marrow, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, aubergine, tomatoes, salad leaves, artichokes, cabbages, spinach, lots of herbs, current bushes and also strawberries growing in fly tipped tyres. We got a free compost bin from Facebook and a recycled water but. We use old milk bottles with perforated lids as watering cans. We have had 14 people involved with working on the garden and we get lots of admirers. We love it when people come to look round and we can show them what we’re doing. We have given food away for neighbours and intend to link up with Christ Church community kitchen.
Nominated by Jacqueline Witter & Maude Estwick
I am nominating Milkwood Community Park as it has recently experienced a revival. New volunteers have come together to help plant new plants, vegetables, do some weeding and watering of the nine beds in the park. A whatsapp group was set up in April and we try and meet up weekly on a Thursday and Sunday to do what needs to be done. It is a very popular open space and is one of Lambeths Green Flag award winning parks. We have planted lettuce,cabbages beetroot, kolrahbi and swiss chard in a couple of the beds. There is also a herb bed containing corrinder, lemon balm, parsley, thyme and rosemary. Everything has grown up well since the volunteers have started to maintain it. We have recently been able to harvest some of the vegetables and herbs and offered them to the residents, putting up a notice board to inform the residents to help themselves and taken some ourselves. Residents and their children as well as passer bys have been impressed and commented on how well the beds are looking. This is why I am nominating this space and attach some pictures accordingly.