Here’s an audio sample of our trip to Mudchute Park and Farm for your delectation!
Ever wondered what’s underground? Well, underneath the Northern Line by Clapham North Tube Station, a subterranean farm will be growing. Construction work is currently underway for underground farm, Zero Carbon Food.
In what used to be shelter from air raids in World War II, Richard Ballard and Steven Dring are working alongside Chef Michel Roux Jr to create a working farm, underground.
There will be 2.5 acres of growing space for miniature vegetables, shoots, and micro-herbs. All the products will be sold at supermarkets.
The farm will be carbon neutral, will have low LED bulbs and will have an integrated hydroponics system.
Being underground at 100 feet, the produce will be kept at 16 degrees centigrade throughout the year.
This exciting new project will open later this year.
Located near the Science Museum, South Kensington’s farmers market is one for students, teachers, locals and Londoners to enjoy every Tuesday from 9am to 2pm. Around 23 producers, who provide local sourced products, come to the market each Tuesday. There are artisan breads, fresh fruit and veg, meat, eggs poultry and fresh fish. Situated on a green oasis near a number of London’s attractions, it is surely a place to pick up a spot of lunch this spring.
Today Capital Growth have organised the ‘School Big Dig’, which connects five to 20 corporate volunteers with local schools.
This is for schools to improve their growing space and nutrition intake.
Schools and volunteers will be raising beds, making food growing structures and digging up old soil.
The day has been inspired by the the nationwide Big Dig event. This saw residents digging up their local gardens in preparation for the next growing season.
Capital Growth, London are known for connecting the community through growing fresh produce in London.
The event runs today and on Sunday 29th March 2015.
The Edible Garden Show is coming to London in only a couple of weeks! Head to Alexandra Palace on March 20-22 if you want to learn about how to grow your own food, whether it’s in the garden or indoors. These are some of the things they will have available:
- a pop up city farm organised by Surrey Docks City Farm
- Sean’s Shed, which will tell you all you need to know about managing an allotment
- Make it!, a workshop for adults and kids when you can learn to how make jam, sausages, cheese and more
- learn hot to best mange your pot plans thanks to the HIPPO Potting Shed workshops
Urban Farming is an important mechanism for the capitals’ residents to grow fresh produce on unused and cultivated land.
The main aims of urban farming is to create awareness about the importance of fresh produce, to create a better lifestyle for residents and to teach others about its advantages.
Across a number of unused and derelict sites in West London, Cultivate London aims to provide employment opportunities for the young unemployed.
They have an industrial looking flat nursery, which enables growers to produce herbs and vegetables.
“putting people in a positive setting”
In January I interviewed Adrienne Attorp, the General Manager of Cultivate London, who told me about the importance of giving a second chance to the young unemployed, and how they can get involved with Urban Farming. She enforced that it is “putting people in a positive setting”
Cultivate London is mainly for those aged between 16-24. They use volunteers who have experienced long term unemployment or did not do very well in school to enable them to learn a variety of skills which includes urban farming.
Attorp explained that the young unemployed who they hire are able to sell the produce that is grown on the Cultivate London sites to farmers markets and local retailers, to enable them to engage with members of the local community.
“young people can gain skills”
While Attorp said that urban farming is secondary to Cultivate London’s aim of reducing youth unemployment, she championed that it is crucial for them to deliver urban farming for their youth training programme. This is to ensure numerous opportunities so that “young people can gain skills applicable” for the working world.
This is further an opportunity to mitigate unemployment in West London and develop educational opportunities for the people who are hired by Cultivate London.
Attorp told me that with the benefit of social enterprise and the support of external grant funding they generate as much running income as they can through the sale of the plants they grow.
On the whole three to four trainees are hired from the scheme and a fourth hired externally. With the help of a local funder they will also be able to hire eight interns (three-month paid placements) over the course of the coming year.
“an apprentice lost four stone”
Though their aim is not to tackle obesity, in one of the young people’s first year ‘an apprentice lost four stone’ from working on their urban farms.
This shows how effective Urban Farming is for a better well-being, self-sufficiency and helps cultivate and prolong the fertilisation of the soil and surrounding land used.
It is also an opportunity for social interaction and helps the local community engage with one another.