We had a wonderful night on 22nd October at the Garden Museum, celebrating all the magnificent gardens, gardeners and food entrepreneurs that are to be found around Lambeth.
The Mayor of Lambeth, Christopher Wellbelove, gave the prizes – there were 18 first, and 10 highly commended prizes.
People mingled, enjoyed the local beer and soft drinks, not to speak of the English wine, and food created by Charles Nyereyegona – put together entirely from surplus food (food rescued from supermarkets at the end of the day that would otherwise go to landfill).
I kicked off the evening with a call for action:
You’re here tonight to support a garden, gardener or entrepreneur and because you care: you care about the health of our planet and you care what you eat. If we grow our own food, we know how much work is involved – we value food more, we realise that there’s a direct relationship between cheaper and cheaper food (in our current system), compromised flavour and a planet that is being damaged. But if we grow our own food, we respond to the seasons, to the soil. Whatever the weather, we get out and are part of Nature.
One exciting development at the moment is that there’s been a breakthrough amongst health professionals in recognising that growing food has enormous health benefits – both physically and mentally. Incredible Edible Lambeth’s online map is an amazing tool to signpost people to food growing spaces – we use it to refer health professionals to these gardens.
Through our network, as well as the community gardens, we aim to support schools (our young people have an important part to play in this food revolution) and we want to support local food entrepreneurs (which is why we have an ‘Innovation’ category in the Blooming Lambeth Awards). We’d like to encourage everyone to become food activists campaigning for better food, especially amongst low income families.
Incredible Edible Lambeth may not be on your radar at the moment, but this year, we want to change that – we want to become more relevant to gardeners and food entrepreneurs throughout Lambeth. We want to represent your interests, we want to encourage more gardening, we want to collaborate with other food organisations wherever possible. How can we do that more effectively? How can we work with you to promote food growing in our communities? I’m sure you have a view! Please do let us know.
There is no doubt that our world is in crisis – but good food can work to heal the Earth and our bodies – so together let’s grow this movement towards a more caring attitude to our planet and our people.
Don’t forget to find out who the 2018 Blooming Lambeth Award winners are!