Bandstand Beds: growing in public

In 2011 I was on a compost crusade: fresh, peat-free dirt for the masses! One of the major problems facing food growers in the city is good, affordable growing medium. London, with its history of light industry and WWII bomb damage, has soil with an unknown risk of heavy metal pollution. I was introduced to Clapham […]

Lambeth Poly – community cropping

Lambeth Poly was a prototype project to explore what we can grow and sell in Lambeth, and how we can train and employ local people to do it. The project ran from April 2012 to October 2013. This informal report states the outcomes, reviews the project and indicates learning/evaluation. Scroll down too for a roll […]

An Urban Farming qualification

In this slide show you can see trainee urban farmers becoming skilled in the operations of polytunnel growing on Growing in a Polytunnel, a ten-week course run at Lambeth Poly in the summer of 2013. To see the slideshow in a new window that you can embiggen on your screen, click this link. Lambeth Poly was a prototype […]

Berlin Community Growing

In Berlin at the end of last October with colleagues for an EU Foodmetres meeting, I took the opportunity to visit four of the city’s community food growing projects, Himmelbeet, Princessinengarten, Arche Metropolis and Allmend Kontor. Comparing and contrasting with Lambeth, the south London borough where I’ve lived and worked for many years (also a […]

winter harvest – radish ‘Black Spanish’

I’m always in awe of the ingenuity of crop breeders down the ages. So many varieties, and several for every season to keep us fed. Cabbages, carrots and lettuce are crops that really see the year round with many seasonal varieties, and radishes, though not a staple, come in that category too. ‘Black Spanish’ is […]

Bandstand Beds – Clapham Common Growing – get involved

Project that has had a lot of fun this year growing in public You might want to join them – read here about the Christmas planning meeting on Thursday 12th December 6.30 – 8.30. It will be in the Old Town at one of the members’ houses for some drinks and nibbles. RSVP for location at […]

Garden, balcony or windowsill: what to do November

Tulips look great in pots and window boxes in April and May, and now is the time to plant them. Put them 15 – 20cm deep, pointy end up, 4 -5cm deep and make sure your container has at least another 10 cm below that. You can put in a layer of. Plant winter pansies […]

September sowing

We’re so lucky – the gorgeous weather looks set to continue through September Nick and Ana at Salon in Brixton Village love the parsnip and sorrel seed heads I’ve been able to supply for vases and I’m also now sowing Honesty with its clear violet or white flowers followed by transparent penny seed heads and […]

August and into September: reflect and plan

August and into September is the perfect time to ponder: – what’s done well this season – what could benefit for a re-think – what are your aims for getting the most out of your garden in 2014 Is it time to get going with fruit and veg? Have the children grown up a bit […]

the power of flowers

Flowers give energy, or prana, as they say in yoga. You don’t have to get metaphysical to understand that flowers encourage relaxation, a smile and connection. Decorating with flowers is what we do to mark the milestones in life and the festivals of the year. We offer their fragile freshness to show love and respect, […]