Many of you have asked how you might be able to support your communities in these uncertain times; we came up with a plan…
We thought we would encourage more people to grow veg. So we advertised the idea that we could supply a box with compost, seed trays and pots, and a selection of seeds; we had a flood of interest.
We undertook a risk assessment, minimised contact between people assembling and delivering the boxes, made sure that all plastic remained untouched for 72 hours, wore PPE at all times and, importantly, got the green light from Lambeth Council. We set up a Crowdfund to help us deliver the pilot and are very grateful to Engie and the amazing Paolo Arrigo (watch him on youtube) of Franchi Seeds of Italy for generous financial and material support.
Now we have an incredible 128 new households across the borough growing vegetables – many for the first time. But that’s just the start!
We’ve streamlined the process and now are very grateful for funding from London Funders for many more households to grow food right through the autumn. So please, if you’re interested APPLY TODAY using the form at the bottom. Deadline for applications is Monday 1st June.
With our funding, we will support all our growers to grow to seedling stage and then hand on seedlings to families who may need some extra veg on the table. Alternatively, if you have the space, grow the food on to harvest and donate the food to vulnerable people.
For our early growers, we can now provide more seeds and compost, to take them through to the autumn.
We’re holding regular zoom meet ups to discuss the best way to distribute all these seedlings (and veg) – so look out for the next one, which we will advertise in our newsletters and through social media. We’ve had all kinds of suggestions as to the best way to share seedlings and produce – from mutual aid groups, to faith groups, childrens’ centres, schools and food banks. The best way to figure out how to do it is ‘test and learn’. We are compiling a list here. Get in touch if you’re remaining unsure or simply want to share how you are getting on (email@example.com)
Hot tips for getting growing: the RHS has detailed info on growing and we’ve been recommended Harvest to Table – but we’re sure you have other favourite sites..Fabrice, the brilliant gardener at Myatt’s Fields Park, stars in our short video, providing advice on growing from seed. Here’s some planting out advice and here is a ‘how to’ guide for environmentally friendly paper pots, shared by one of our growers.
Thank you to all of you who might want to be involved, and thank you to those of you supporting your communities, family and friends in other ways.