As Capital Growth approaches the new growing season, and with two small grants rounds and the launch of a schools competition already under its belt, the project looks set to reach 400 spaces by the time this goes to press. This means it is well on the way towards the target of 2,012 new food-growing spaces supported by the end of 2012.Ten of these spaces have recently won a tool kit worth £500 following a photo competition sponsored by Fiskars. Competitions and discounts are one of many ways that the Capital Growth team are finding to support the growing number of spaces who sign up to the campaign. Here is a spotlight on a couple of the recent lucky winners.
Dreams of Eden, Newham
Dreams of Eden are a group of residents in Forest Gate, East London, who signed up to Capital Growth at the start of the year and have transformed an overgrown neighbours’ garden into a community food-growing haven. Six months after the idea was born the group have managed to clear the wilderness and are the lucky winners of a tool kit. “Our dream for the space is to create our own little bit of Eden in Forest Gate. We want to grow fruit and veg which we can cook and eat together.” explains Alicia Francis from the group.
The community dimension is crucial to the group and the young people will play an active part – they are already planning for a summer fête in June. They are also planning to create a hub of an urban heritage orchard, working with other residents in the area to encourage them to plant heritage fruit trees. Watch Dreams of Eden’s progress on their blog: http://sobrietysister.wordpress.com/2009/11
Kemnal Technology College, Bromley
This brand new growing project is set in a school ground in Sidcup and will be initially run with 200 year 7 students who will work alongside members of the local community to grow a range of crops. “After a fantastic launch event on 3rd March, students are now working hard to prepare their plots ready to grow their vegetables for their 'Grow a Dish' competition. The race is on!” explained Juliet Morris, Deputy Head at the College. Community members will be asked to lend their expertise and time to help these budding young gardeners in their first growing venture.
Anyone interested in registering a new food growing space to receive inkind support from the team, including advice, information, training, events as well as access to discounts and competitions should visit www.capitalgrowth.org/apply and complete the short online application.
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Tom Moggach and Chris Heath from City Leaf are teachers who offer food growing training. firstname.lastname@example.org
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