Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has confirmed that London's ‘grow your own’ scheme is now halfway towards its overall target. The Mayor also revealed that an estimated 35,000 green-fingered volunteers are now helping to cultivate these food oases.
Cutting the ribbon on the 1000th plot this week, the Mayor confirmed that Capital Growth small grants have been awarded to over 100 budding food growing projects in 21 boroughs across London, each receiving a cash boost to help them plant their own fruit and veg.
Under the Mayor’s scheme, many schools and community groups are among the lucky recipients of small pots of money ranging from £200 to £1000. Recipients generally use their money to pay for equipment such as tools, soil, compost, and wood for raised beds.
Wandsworth Museum’s Monastery Herb Garden is one of these recipients. The garden fronts the museum's classrooms and is an area where children can eat lunch or snacks in a safe green space that extends their understanding of positive environmental impacts. The Museum intends to have the children assist in the maintenance of plants and also use the growing of plants, food and herbs as hand-on samples of sessions in development that focus on medical treatments through the ages and environmental protection in the local area.
Opening the 1000th plot during a visit to a Lambeth primary school Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “More than one thousand Capital Growth community gardens have now sprung up across London helping to bind communities together and spruce up neglected areas of land. Collectively, this awesome army of gardeners are helping to bring the best of the village into our busy city to improve quality of life.”
The Mayor was visiting Sudbourne Primary school in Lambeth this week; winner of a £1,000 grant to support its plot and gardening club. The grant will also go towards helping classes plant a range of food products including wheat to grind at a local windmill, all of which is linked to the curriculum.
There are many projects like this throughout London funded by the Mayor’s Capital Growth Scheme. Go to the Capital Growth website and key in your local postcode to find out which of the 1032 Capital Growth spaces are in your area www.capitalgrowth.org/spaces
*Boris Johnson, launched Capital Growth in 2008 with London Food Link to help green the city, boost volunteering and improve quality of life. It is a practical response to the rising interest in ‘grow your own’ and lengthening waiting lists for allotments that can be decades long. The scheme has attracted a wide range of private and public sector supporters since its launch, as well as its estimated 35,000 gardening volunteers.
June 13, 2011