Covid-19 and our gardening - please read

Building stronger communities – growing food for our neighbours

Since early April, we’ve been working out how to deliver veg growing kits safely to households across Lambeth. To read the backstory of our current endeavours, click here. We are grateful for funding from the London Community Response Fund, enabling us to undertake this project effectively; many households will be able to grow food right through to the autumn.

With our funding, we will support 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 people who would benefit from it. It would be brilliant (for us!) if you could keep a bit of a count on how many people you’ve handed on to, and we’d love to hear how you’ve distributed your seedlings.

Redistribution of seedlings – we’re holding regular zoom meet ups to discuss the best ways to distribute 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 – 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 (incrediblelambeth@gmail.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.

We have had some very creative suggestions for growing – egg boxes make great seed trays – and you can plant the seedlings directly into the ground without the need to transplant.

And here is a great way of saving space and growing vertically:

If you’re growing broccoli, kale or purple sprouting – watch out for the cabbage moth (rampant right now), check underside of leaves for tiny eggs (see photo) or worse, caterpillars. If the caterpillars reduce your plant to askeleton, don’t give up, even at the skeleton stage the plant can recover! Try to check daily or at least alternate days 

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.

And thank you to everyone who has been supporting us during this project. We would especially like to thank:

London Freedom Seed Bank

Engie

Franchi Seeds

Myatt’s Fields Park

Father Nature

All those who contributed to the Crowdfund

And most importantly, to the London Community Response Fund, for enabling us to make a significant difference to the growing of food all over Lambeth!