Local Harvest in London Fields

LondonFieldsLondon Fields Farmers’ Market celebrates the Harvest Festival with hyper-local food with the help of Mayor-backed Capital Growth project. Several community food growing spaces in Hackney will be selling their surplus fruit, vegetables and preserves on Sunday 25th September.

Louis Schulz of London Fields Farmers’ Market says “I think it’s fantastic that you can now buy food that has never left Hackney. If you don’t have your own allotment or back garden where you can grow food, this is where you are going to get that super-fresh, low-food-mile vegetable or fruit.”

As well as live music and lots of delicious food, the market will have lots of other Harvest Festival activities, including a scarecrow-making workshop, with the resulting scarecrows donated to local Capital Growth sites. The Capital Growth stall will be offering only Hackney-grown produce, with local honey and pickles.

“Last week we joined in the Capital Growth Pop Up Pickle, making jams and chutneys out of our surplus and now we're selling our jams on the Capital Growth stall. It's been a great opportunity to add value to our glut of runner beans!' says Kate Poland of Cordwainers Garden, Mare Street.

Eloise Dey of Captial Growth says “The Capital Growth team recognises the importance of financial viability for community food growing spaces. By selling their surplus produce they can make enough to buy the tools and seeds they need for the following season.”

Capital Growth has now launched a Garden Hero competition to find and celebrate those people who stand out due to the effort they make to help their community growing space. This might be someone who puts in the extra time to keep the growing space tidy, is always there with a cup of tea when you need one or who has been really successful in making links with the local community (or growing where no-one has grown before!) Get more details from www.capitalgrowth.org/our_support/garden_heroes from Tuesday, 20th September, and the deadline for nominations is 10th October.

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 advice to landowners. There are already 1267 plots in a wide range of places including plots at schools, housing estates, homeless hostels, universities and even in skips!

Throughout the growing season Capital Growth has facilitated trading between restaurants and their local Capital Growth food growing spaces. These spaces offer a super local, super fresh source of ingredients. The team is also hosting a series of Pop-Up-Pickling sessions at The Table Café in Southwark training food growers in how to add value to their glut.

Source: Capital Growth

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