Get inspired to grow your own food: visit gardens producing food in cities

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Posted Sep 16 2015 by Maddie Guerlain of Capital Growth
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Edible Gardens Open Day is an annual event for Londoners to explore secret gardens, embark on an edible walking tour, or venture further afield to discover people growing in novel places. It’s now happening in other cities too. 

Support London’s green-fingered growers this weekend as they celebrate their autumn harvest. Fifty gardens will be taking part, including a mobile garden in the Olympic Park, a floating allotment in Hackney, bee keepers in Kennington and an urban farm in west London. A full list of participating gardens can be found on our interactive map and we look forward to the sixth annual Edible Gardens Open Day being one of the best yet.

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One of the unique gardens taking part is Grow Elephant, a growing space for residents of Elephant and Castle and Walworth. Coordinator Paul McGann describes “what is unusual about us is we are a mobile community garden – we have occupied three different sites in Elephant and Castle since 2011, and everything is designed to move. The day will not only be a celebration of our first season in our new site but an opportunity to have a party with music, food and drink.” Disco and Soul DJs will be playing vinyl from late afternoon, plus there will be a guided tours and Q & A with project directors at 2pm and 4pm.

This time of year is great for edible gardens as they start to reap the rewards of their harvest, with fresh garden produce taking centre stage at the celebrations and a chance for people to visit and get to know the amazing people behind these gardens.

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Visitors to the all the gardens will have a chance to win prizes including dinner for two at Mews of Mayfair, a hamper of local London treats from Urban Food Fortnight, and a ready to grow Rocket Fruit Garden.

Edible Gardens Open Day is supported by the Mayor of London and is featured as a key event of Urban Food Fortnight, the capital’s celebration of the fabulous ultra-local produce being grown, produced and cooked on our doorstep. Edible Gardens Open Day is also taking place in Manchester and Birmingham this year, in partnership with local organisations Sow the City and Growing Birmingham.

Explore our online map to discover London’s grub-growing gardens at www.bigdig.org.uk/london orwww.bigdig.org.uk for other cities.

For more information contact Maddie Guerlain

[email protected] or 0207 065 0902

capitalgrowth.org       twitter.com/capital_growth     facebook.com/capitalgrowth

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A selection of gardens in London is listed below

East London

  • The Floating Allotment in Hackney grows salads, vegetables, fruit, and herbs with produce used for pop up cafés and open days. The allotment is also home to a flock of domestic ducks, supplying eggs, used for the very popular Open Day cakes.
  • Nomadic Garden is a new garden off Brick Lane with over 100 raised beds for growing, and an arts and event space. The day will include a live street art paint jam, performances, barbequed food, drinks and tours.
  • Stepney City Farm is showcasing their weekly farmer’s market with stalls selling vegetables, fruit, bread, cheeses, meat, cakes, eggs, preserves, oils and juices. Visit the animals and try delicious food from their award-winning café, made with produce grown on the farm and local producers.

North London

  • Broomfield Community Orchard hosts over 100 fruit trees, including 37 different apple varieties, and a community garden. Visit the orchard, sample fresh refreshments and get involved in their new Community Growing Space.
  • The Castle Garden will have an off grid kitchen/cafe, cooking up meals with garden-grown produce, including wood fired cob oven pizzas, garden vegetable soup, garden fruit cordials, herbal tea blends and more.

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West London

  • The Regents Park Allotment Garden will have fresh pizza, a jam tasting competition, tours, activities for children and more for their Annual Harvest Party.
  • Cultivate London is a horticultural social enterprise and youth training charity that will have plants for sale, growing demonstrations and a BBQ.

South London

  • Bee Urban, a honey-based social enterprise in Kennington, will be open for hive inspections with honey and beeswax candles for sale.
  • Bandstand Beds on Clapham Common will be hosting tours, and will be a stop on Incredible Edible Lambeth’s edible walking route.
  • Brockwell Park Community Green Houses is hosting a volunteer work day and a cob oven building workshop (RSVP to [email protected]).