Capital Growth, set up in 2012 is London's largest food growing network. It is a partnership initiative between London Food Link, the Mayor of London and the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund, which now has over 2,000 community growing spaces, allotments and private gardens registered, throughout the city.
The objectives are not greatly different from the war time 'Dig For Victory' campaign; to encourage people living in the capital to grow their own food. Joining the network is free and Capital Growth have an extensive calendar of events, publications, training and support programme, discounts & offers, suitable for everyone, from beginners to the expert horticulturalist. The Capital Growth website is an invaluable resource for schools and a number of local schools, including Eversley, St Paul's and Hazelwood Infant and Junior School are members of Capital Growth;our last big dig a fantastic event where all the family enjoy getting involved to make the school a lovely environment.
Naomi Greig who is involved in the Hazelwood Wild Garden says:
"Capital growth is a fantastic resource to be part of, the information for schools are incredibly useful. The handout for Growing in schools is particularly good to help ensure the best crops within the school year. The courses which are run through the year have been inspiring and knowledgeable, this has given us the confidence to pass on information to other teachers and really engage the children with learning outside"
Here are some families working in and enjoying the wildlife garden.
Another important local Capital Growth member is the Broomfield Community Orchard, which was awarded a 'Community Tree Award', in the London Tree and Woodland Awards 2015.
Located next to the bowling green off Aldermans Hill, the orchard was planted in December 2014 and is a good example of the kind of community growing projects that Capital Growth is keen to promote. Initally started by the Friends of Broomfield Park and the Fox Lane and District Residents' Association, with the support of Enfield Council, more than sixty people have been involved in the project. To date it has been planted with more than seventy fruit trees, along with hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, wild plum and spindle in the surrounding shrubberies. As the orchard mature, the fruit will be available to local people, schools and community groups.
Across the borough there are around 80 community garden spaces registered and the organisation is now opened its membership to people who grow their own produce. Capital Grow are keen to expand the urban growing movement. Their biggest event of the Capital Growth calendar is The Big Dig, Now in its fifth year, on Saturday April 16th 2016, Capital Growth want to encourage hundreds of volunteers to pull on their wellies and help a community garden get ready for the new growing season.
The Friends of Broomfield Park are seeking volunteers to build a new pond in the park, from April 13th - April 16th.
Typical jobs will include shovelling compost, building trellises, planting seedlings and getting more involved in the growing urban food movement.
The Capital Growth photo gallery shows people of all ages getting stuck in, working with friends and neigbours transforming underused land into urban growing space
Sign up to Capital Growth, it may be a cliche but this is a growing movement!