• Abbey Gardens in Newham has been crowned most inspiring community food garden of London beating competition from a 1900+ strong network of similar spaces across London.
• Capital Growth, that runs the network of community food gardens, is offering grants to new spaces.
The Grow for Gold competition, run by the Capital Growth network during 2012, has announced the winners of five different categories celebrating the breadth of community food growing spaces across London. Grow for Gold judge, Fred Foot, from Bulldog Tools, said, ‘We were blown away by the quality of the entries. It was really hard to choose the winners, when all the spaces and the groups behind them have made such an impact. It was like splitting hairs to choose, but that’s what we had to do.’
Paola Guzman, from Capital Growth, said of the competition, ’Over the last four years of running Capital Growth, there have been so many great stories behind the thousands of new community food gardens that have been set up. This competition was our way of congratulating those groups who have made a real difference, be it with the people they have brought together, the difference they’ve made to their local environment, or the amount they have grown.’
The Grow for Gold winners are:
• Inspiring food garden – Abbey Gardens, Newham
• Bee Friendly garden - Fairlie Grow, Tower Hamlets
• Learning food garden - Chisenhale Primary School, Tower Hamlets
• People’s food garden - Crystal Palace Transition Town, Lambeth
• Enterprise food garden – Lambeth Poly, Lambeth
The winners and runners up received prizes from the Organic Gardening Catalogue, Victoriana Nursery, East End Homes the Cookery School and Bulldog Tools. A full list of winners, runners up and the prizes they receive are in the notes below.
Capital Growth is also running a grants scheme, with up to £350 available to community groups who want to set up an edible garden in the capital, which closes on 29 October 2012.
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For pictures and more information, please contact Paola Guzman email@example.com on 020 7837 1228 or Ben Reynolds on 07939 202 711
1. The Grow for Gold competition was launched by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Lord Seb Coe in February 2012. It was open to all the spaces in the Capital Growth network and any that wanted to join.
2. Capital growth is running a grants scheme open until 29th October. Groups can apply for £350 to help set up a new food growing space. www.capitalgrowth.org/apply
3. Capital Growth was launched in 2008 to provide practical and financial help to Londoners wanting to set up or expand food growing spaces. The scheme is funded by the Mayor of London and by the Local Food programme, a £57.5 million fund set up by the Big Lottery Fund. It is managed by London Food Link, part of the environment charity, Sustain. The programme was awarded a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Commendation in 2010 for its success in getting communities growing. For more information go to www.capitalgrowth.org. Capital Growth has spaces in a diverse range of places including schools, a prison, on roofs, in skips, on canal banks and on housing estates. Some spaces are engaged in social enterprise and bee keeping and provide skills and training.
4. The Grow for Gold winners and runners up are listed below.
The Bee Friendly food garden, sponsored by the Organic Gardening catalogue
This category highlights the importance of creating a community food growing space for London’s wildlife, including insects, birds, and even bats. Edible plants need to be pollinated by insects so that they produce fruits and vegetables.
1st place Fairlie Grow, Tower Hamlets, won £200 worth of Bulldog tools and a £250 voucher for the Organic Gardening catalogue.
2nd place Cordwainer garden, Hackney, won £50 worth of Bulldog tools and a £150 voucher for the Organic Gardening catalogue.
3rd place Bee Urban, Lambeth, won £100 voucher for the Organic Gardening catalogue.
The Learning food garden, sponsored by Victoriana Nursery
This category highlights the benefits of growing food in an educational setting. Through food growing children learn to live healthy and sustainable lives with a highly engaging experience.
1st place Chisenhale Primary School, Tower Hamlets, won £200 worth of Bulldog tools and a £250 voucher for the Victoriana Nursery.
2nd place Low Hall Nursery and Childrens centre, Waltham Forest, won £50 worth of Bulldog tools and a £150 voucher for the Victoriana Nursery.
3rd place Horniman Primary School, Lewisham, won £100 voucher for the Victoriana Nursery.
The People’s food garden, sponsored by East End Homes
This category focuses on community engagement, an essential part of community food growing. It helps ensure a community food growing space is productive and well maintained, brings neighbours together and makes food growing even more fun!
1st place Crystal Palace Transition Town, Lambeth, won £200 worth of Bulldog tools and £250 from East End Homes
2nd place Lordship North Edible Garden, Hackney, won £50 worth of Bulldog tools and £150 from East End Homes
3rd place Edible Golden Lane 358 City of London £100 from East End Homes
The Inspiring food garden, sponsored by Bulldog Tools
This category emphasizes the benefits of growing food together, encouraging communities to develop pride in their neighbourhood, and eat tastier and healthier food.
1st place Abbey Gardens, Newham, won £200 worth of Bulldog tools, a £250 voucher for the Organic Gardening catalogue and a £250 cooking course at the Cookery School.
2nd place Castle Climbing Centre, Hackney, won £50 worth of Bulldog tools and a £150
voucher for the Organic Gardening catalogue.
3rd place Food from the Sky, Haringey, won £100 voucher for the Organic Gardening catalogue
The Enterprise food garden, sponsored by the Seed Pantry
This category highlights the importance of raising money by selling produce to ensure the sustainability of a community food growing space. Grow-to-sell activities keep the garden alive and provide that little extra to maintain a food-growing space for the next food growing season.
1st place Lambeth Poly, Lambeth, won £200 worth of Bulldog tools and £250 in seeds & plugs from the Seed Pantry.
2nd place Canning Town, Newham, won £50 worth of Bulldog tools and £150 in seeds & plugs from the Seed Pantry.
3rd place Bee interested in Portobello Road, Kensington & Chelsea, won £100 in seeds & plugs from the Seed Pantry.