Posts Tagged ‘cultivating neglected land’

I’ve just been interviewed by Gaby and Paul on BBC London Radio this morning about having a very expensive allotment plot. This is true. Plots in Islington now cost £70, and mine is a petite 20 sq metres. However, after 10 years on the waiting list, I’m delighted to have a space in London (in zone 2) to grow my favourite fruit and veg, plus some flowers too, and with waiting lists now closed in many boroughs (including Islington), I feel lucky to have a plot at all.

However, I do think it’s time to think creatively about growing spaces in London. A comment made by Scott on my blog yesterday, about his frustration at not having a garden, prompted me to think that Londoners (and others living in dense urban areas) need to seize the initiative.

We have organised our own community veg growing scheme (above), where over 100 neighbours grow veg in their front gardens, and others, such as Mark at Vertical Veg , growing food in very limited spaces, and Richard Reynolds, godfather of guerilla gardening in London (and now worldwide), have paved the way for would-like to-be gardeners to follow.

Our community growing project and subsequent ‘Cake’ events (where we all meet up over home-made cakes and tea in a front garden), have been amazing at introducing residents to one another as well as producing lots of veg. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has been a real mover and a shaker in starting up his Landshare scheme which connects growers with people with land to share, and maybe it’s time for neighbours to knock on doors and ask if they can bring back into use unloved front gardens and plant up forgotten corners that they see when regularly passing by. Sharing growing spaces with neighbours matched with some guerilla gardening can only help to beautify neighbourhoods, satisfy our desire to cultivate the land and bring communities closer together.

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