|Capital growth Has Taken Root At A Putney Primary School & Roehampton Uni|
Grants up to £1,000 are still available for new community food growing projects -
Today Mayor, Boris Johnson announced the Capital Growth schools competition has branched out to include London's secondary schools, colleges and universities. In the Sw15 area already taking part are Greenmead Primary School & Roehampton University.
Roehampton University has developed a space on their campus for food growing. Project Dirt is managed by staff and students, but also benefits the local community through its organised events.
Building of the success of last year's inaugural competition aimed at primary schools, this year entries will be welcomed from even more educational organisations with the capital's top food growers in line to win a crop of top prizes.
The competition is being backed by Fifteen London as a great way to help London's young people and students learn about food growing and to eat and cook with fresh, seasonal produce. The restaurant, founded by Jamie Oliver, has offered two people in both the secondary schools category and the combined category for colleges and universities the chance to spend a day at Fifteen London. Lucky winners will don chef’s whites to shadow the restaurant's top chefs for the day, watching service and tasting some of the dishes. They will also get the opportunity to get involved and help out in the kitchens. Fifteen is committed to training its staff and apprentices to instil a passion for great food and a respect for the environment.
Other prizes in all categories include raised beds, tools, fruit trees, seeds, gift cards. The primary and nursery school winners will get the chance to come to City Hall's vegetable patch to meet and show off their skills to the Mayor, Boris Johnson.
At the same time, Capital Growth has announced its latest round of small grants to help people set up a community food plot amounting to £50,000 in total. This is open to potential entries to the education competition as well as any group keen to get growing.
Boris Johnson, said:
Last year's primary school entries helped create 50 brand new Capital Growth plots and their creativity included growing food in the head-teacher’s shoes, creating a bug hotel and using own-grown rhubarb for school lunches. Other pupils in London are using food growing to cultivate business and entrepreneurial skills by selling crops to farmers markets. Students at London's universities can also help cut their living costs by producing a cheap supply of food.
Raj Kotbcha, Headteacher of South Haringey Infant school, winners of last year's competition and where pupils have created a 'bug hotel' for to encourage insects, said:
Rosie Boycott, Chair of the Mayor’s Food board, added:
To help educational institutions and other organisations get growing, Capital Growth will also be launching a training programme across four sites, which will include classes for teachers.
Capital Growth is a partnership initiative between London Food Link, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund. It is championed by the Chair of the London Food Board Rosie Boycott and aims to create 2012 new community food growing spaces across London by the end of 2012. Capital Growth offers practical help, grants training and support to groups wanting to establish community food growing projects as well as well as advice to landowners. There are already 726 plots in a wide range of places including plots at schools, housing estates, homeless hostels, universities and even in skips.
February 3, 2011