Helen Eva Babbs explores the UK’s burgeoning urban food growing scene
Urban Agriculture – Part One – Down South
By Helen Eva Babbs
Helen Babbs blog
Jan 3, 2012
Over the next year, I’ll be exploring the UK’s burgeoning urban food growing scene for Kitchen Garden magazine. Every month I’ll report from a different town or city, as I seek out urban agriculturists and profile projects ranging from the small-scale and personal to the unusual, ambitious and commercial.
“The architecture, the people, the seafront, the history – all make Plymouth fascinating” enthuses Darran Mclane, who’s fallen hard and fast for the city since moving here last spring. Plymouth is also the only city with a Food Charter, set-up and run by the Soil Association, which makes it as good a place as any to begin a quest to document, in part, the food growing projects that are changing the urban landscape across the UK.
“It’s very diverse and affluent, but there are pockets of deprivation” continues Darran, who runs a project called Diggin’ It. It was crowned the ‘Best Producer of 2011’ at Plymouth’s recent Food Charter awards.
“Certain people have a very poor grasp of nutrition. Local and organic food often comes with an expensive sting – or people assume it does. Diggin’ It is about exciting and educating people about food, mainly school children. It’s about finding the right language.”