Get a taste of London’s edible gardens with the Urban Harvest Feast

On Saturday 17 September 2016, community food growing gardens across the capital will host Urban Harvest Feasts to celebrate the start of autumn and give visitors a taste of how much delicious, fresh food is grown within the city.

Capital Growth [1] has organised this London-wide garden open day to showcase the diverse and delicious community food growing scene in the city, and to give newcomers a chance to learn how to get involved in their local garden.

“September is peak harvest season so it’s the perfect month to check out what’s happening in your neighbourhood’s gardens. We’ve got loads going on, from garden fresh cob oven pizza parties, to fresh apple pressing, to preserving & pickling workshops. It’s all free and perfect for family outings,” says Maddie Guerlain from Capital Growth.

One garden taking part is Wildcat Wilderness in Catford, who will be baking bread on a campfire, showing visitors how to make chutneys and jams and teaching people about beekeeping. During the evening they’ll host a community BBQ and lantern evening. Over in Bethnal Green, Cranbrook Community Garden will have a grow-your-own workshop for families, followed by a healthy eating cooking demonstration and harvest-themed performance from a local community choir. They’ll wrap the evening up with a multi-cultural meal in the garden, with local residents sharing food from their own countries.

Capital Growth’s flagship allotment garden in The Regent’s Park will host their annual Harvest Feast which always attracts hundreds of visitors. They’ll be serving pizza baked in the cob oven and topped with garden veggies, running children’s growing activities and pressing their own apples for juice, all accompanied by live music.

The events are being organised as part of London Food Link’s Urban Food Fortnight, which celebrates the ultra-local food being grown, cooked, made and saved on London’s doorstep and runs from 9-25 September.

The Urban Harvest Feast is a part of Capital Growth’s London Grows initiative [2], which aims to help over 2,000 people get involved in volunteering at their local community growing projects, learn about wildlife-friendly growing, and improve London’s green environment.  

For full details about Urban Harvest Feasts around London, visit www.capitalgrowth.org/events/opengardens

ENDS

For more information or photos contact Maddie Guerlain at Maddie@sustainweb.org or 0203 5596 777 or visit www.capitalgrowth.org @capital_growth    www.facebook.com/capitalgrowth

Editorial Notes

  1. Capital Growth is a London Food Link project (part of wider charity Sustain), started in 2008 to help set up 2,012 new community food growing spaces by the end of 2012. Capital Growth continues to support over 2000 members to set up and run gardens, with funding from The Mayor of London and The City Bridge Trust. www.capitalgrowth.org  
     
  2. London Grows is Capital Growth’s three year initiative to support 2,000 Londoners to learn how to grow their own fruit and vegetables and increase wildlife in the city, funded by the City Bridge Trust, as part of their Investing in Londoners programme. The funding covers training, events and large volunteering days, with the aim of improving knowledge and understanding of wildlife-friendly food growing, and the well-being of Londoners as a result of volunteering in their local food growing gardens. www.citybridgetrust.org.uk
     
  3. Other gardens hosting Urban Harvest Feasts include
     
    1. [Bethnal Green] Cranbrook Community Garden: Activities will include information stalls on how to reduce food waste and how to grow your own food, a gardening session specifically designed for families with children at 1:00pm, a cookery session demonstrating healthy eating at 2:30pm, a harvest-themed performance from a local community choir at 4.30pm, and finally a multi-cultural meal, with local residents sharing food from their own countries at 5:00pm.
       
    2. [Catford] Wildcat Wilderness: The garden will host a harvest festival and lantern evening to celebrate local food, including apple and pear picking, a workshop on how to make chutneys and jams, an introduction to bees and beekeeping, and bread making on the camp fire, followed by a lantern evening and community BBQ.
       
    3. [Greenwich] Maryon Park Community Garden: There will be tours of the community garden and forest school, outdoor family art workshops, garden stalls and chutney, plants, damson jam, fresh herb teas and vegetarian pizza on offer. There will also be special activities for children, including making bird feeders, creating lavender bags and digging potatoes.
       
    4. [Green Lanes] The Castle Garden: This one acre permaculture garden will have bushcraft and campfire activities, harvest crafts for children, garden tours, and a chance to meet the honeybees. There will also be an outdoors café selling pizzas, soups, drinks, herbal teas made with produce from the garden. The day will be part of a sponsored sleep out by some staff of The Castle Climbing Centre who are raising money for charity.
       
    5. [Peckham] Glengall Wharf Garden: Come along to the Harvest Feast to meet our happy hens, buzz a bit with the bees, taste cob oven pizzas, and try out the fun activities planned, such as a family forage and rocket pesto making. This is our main annual celebration of all the amazing things we do, and the focus this year is on families and fun.
       
    6. [The Regent’s Park] The Regent’s Park Allotment Garden: Pizzas in our cob oven topped with our grown veggies and herbs (pay by donation), children activities, ‘Reduce/ recycle/ reuse: Make your own tee-shirt bag’ stall, Apple pressing and fresh apple juice tasting, Garden goodies to buy. TBC: Music, demonstration beehive.
       
    7. [Waterloo] Oasis Farm Waterloo: Stop by London’s newest urban farm to take part in a Power Hour volunteering session, or join a cooking session to prepare for a communal meal. Learn about working with animals in the city, and how Oasis runs family and therapy programmes based on Jamie’s Farm model.
       
    8. [Stratford] Abbey Gardens: Join in the annual Harvest Festival, which this year will be a classic vegetable show with associated activities including a vegetable exhibition and a vegetable quiz.

23/08/2016
Capital Growth

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Capital Growth: The Capital Growth campaign, run by Sustain's London Food Link offers practical and financial support to communities around London to help more people grow more food, and to have greater access to land and growing spaces for community benefit. The Capital Bee project, part of Capital Growth, seeks pledges to promote bee-friendly behaviour, and supports establishment of community beehives.

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