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Category — England

The Guardian: Growing together – an allotment picture essay

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sacrw
Scarecrows.

National Allotments Week 2016 aims to highlight the inclusive nature of allotment gardening, appealing to all sections of society and all levels of ability. Photographer Sam Frost went to meet allotment holders in Bristol

By Sam Frost
The Guardian
Aug 15, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

There has been a renewed interest in allotments, with many holders taking them up for the social aspect in addition to access to outside space and being able to grow fresh produce. Alderman Moore Allotments in Bristol are run by the Hotwells & District Allotments Association, which was founded in 1917 and is approaching its 100th year.

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August 15, 2016   No Comments

Those pigs in Westminster: inside London’s most central urban farm

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Piglets, London born and bred. Photograph: Martin Godwin

Nestled between office blocks, on a patch of unimaginably valuable real estate directly across the river from Whitehall, live London’s most unlikely urbanites: lambs, chickens, sheep and a new brood of piglets. So how exactly do you run a farm in the shadow of Parliament?

By Peter Watts
The Guardian
Aug 4, 2016

Excerpt:

There’s something slightly surreal about Oasis Farm Waterloo, a tiny working farm wedged into a slender strip of land owned by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, who permit use pending redevelopment for the hospital. Overlooking the polytunnels, portable cabins and three animal sheds with pigs, sheep and chickens, are a pair of tower blocks, some office buildings and a bleak railway viaduct. Next door is a Victorian school containing artists’ studios.

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August 11, 2016   No Comments

Further 90,000 allotments are needed in the UK to keep up with demand, according to the National Allotment Society

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altmo
Watercolour of allotments at Hackney Wick with the playing fields of the Eton Mission, Leyton in the distance. Signed and dated ‘Rose. Sept 1937’.
Artist/Maker:Rose, George Herbert, born 1882.
Click on image for larger file.

This week is National Allotments Week, which celebrates the 330,000 plots that already exist in the UK and seeks to increase the number available.

By Elizabeth Henry,
Horticulture Week
Aug 8, 2016

Excerpt:

The NAS is calling on people who care about allotments to “do their part” to protect them:

Allotment associations – protect your site by registering as a community asset. Allotment Federations – keep allotments in the public eye, make sure they are mentioned in the Local Plan and lobby councillors and MPs.

Councils – preserve and value your allotment service – it has the potential to deliver some of your public health targets.

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August 10, 2016   Comments Off on Further 90,000 allotments are needed in the UK to keep up with demand, according to the National Allotment Society

UK: Falmouth and District Allotments and Gardens Society’s annual Produce and Flower Show

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David Angove, winner of the biggest cabbage.

Jenny Hudson; President’s Cup for the best kept plot on B site

Falmouth Packet
Aug 1, 2016

Excerpt:

Results.
The Julian’s Cup for the most improved plot in the first year of membership, George Davis; Plot Holder of the Year for the most improved allotment plot for members not in their first year, Chris Jenkins; President’s Cup for the best kept plot on A site, Jenny Hudson; President’s Cup for the best kept plot on B site, Mandy McFarland; President’s Cup for the best kept plot on C site, Dave Angove; The Blue Flame Shield for the best Top Tray, Dave Angove; Vegetable Shield for the most points in the vegetable section, Dave Angove; The Shed Cup for the best exhibit in the vegetable section, Dave Angove;

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August 6, 2016   Comments Off on UK: Falmouth and District Allotments and Gardens Society’s annual Produce and Flower Show

UK: How we founded Croydon’s first rooftop community garden

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croydCroydon is a large town in south London, England, the principal settlement of the London Borough of Croydon. It is located 9.5 miles south of Charing Cross.

The rooftop cinema-garden will be here till the end of the summer when hopefully we’ll harvest and plan for spring.

By Joyce Veheary
The Croydon Citizen
22nd July, 2016

Excerpts:

On the rooftop of the Fairfield Halls NCP carpark, together we’ve created Croydon’s only rooftop community garden and with advice from @CroydonGardener, who specialises in ‘no-dig’ gardening, we’ve built raised beds full of veggies. Local businesses such as craft brewers Volden Brewery have donated spent hops to create compost, lavender has been lent from Mayfield lavender fields and individual locals have generously given soil and garden paraphernalia, making it a real community effort.

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July 27, 2016   Comments Off on UK: How we founded Croydon’s first rooftop community garden

10 Essential Allotment Gardening Tools

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peaf
Burgon & Ball Seed and Plant Spacing Rule.

UK’s National Allotments week from 18-24 August

By Richard Hood
The Independent
26 July 2016

Excerpt:

There’s still plenty of sowing and planting to be done in August – Swiss chard, spring onions and spring cabbages can all be sown now, and if you are quick about it, you should just be able to squeeze in a few fast maturing carrots. And to ensure your veg rows crop in precise, regimental, envy-inducing lines, you’ll need one of these. This ruler is made from sturdy beech wood, and comes inscribed with recommended plant spacings – perforated with poke holes for pinpoint sowing. A smaller, 30cm rule is available, but veg growers will get more use from the metre length version.

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July 27, 2016   Comments Off on 10 Essential Allotment Gardening Tools

Urban farming: how the hippy throwback is on the rise

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hipbri
In 1976, the farm was more an industrial wasteland – but that didn’t put people off turning it into something more. Photo: ITV News

Windmill Hill City Farm in South Bristol, UK

ITV
July 20, 2016

Excerpt:

It’s the oldest city farm outside London and after rising from the rubble left by WW2 and council bulldozers, it’s now celebrating its 40th anniversary.

It was back in 1976, when volunteers inherited a rat infested wasteland but brick by brick they cleared it and began creating ponds and allotments.

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July 25, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farming: how the hippy throwback is on the rise

The Grand ‘Beedapest’ Hotel – the world’s first luxury bee hotel

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(Must see video. Mike) The hotel itself is made from balsa wood and includes traditional hollow tubes in the bedrooms, which is a popular nesting choice for solitary bees. Other key features, such as sugar water baths and ultraviolet patterns, have been included based on scientific research that suggests that bees are attracted to these, and will therefore be enticed to enter the bee hotel to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

We’ve just created the world’s poshest insect residence: a luxury bee hotel, in partnership with Kew Gardens!

By Taylors Tea of Harrogate since 1886

Excerpts;

Our teas need bees

Without these buzzy little flavour creators, life would be very bland. Research has found that animal pollination makes the tastiest fruit, and many of the ingredients in our wonderfully distinctive fruit and herbal teas – created with the help of the plant experts at Kew Gardens – need bees simply to survive. or Click on the packs to see for yourself.

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July 13, 2016   Comments Off on The Grand ‘Beedapest’ Hotel – the world’s first luxury bee hotel

UK: ‘We had six weeks to turn a dog toilet into a community garden’

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belo
‘I keep bees in the grounds of St John’s church in Waterloo.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

Carole Wright is an urban beekeeper and gardener in south London

By Jim Cable
The Guardian
June 25, 2016

Excerpt:

I moved to the South Bank after living in a hostel for two and a half years and being essentially homeless. Within two weeks I came across a community garden off Library Street. My grandparents used to live overlooking the space but I didn’t recall a garden, so I went in. “Why have you got all these raised beds, a couple of ponds and a lovely greenhouse next to these ramshackle pre-fabs? What’s that all about?” That’s how my involvement with Bankside Open Spaces Trust began. I started by volunteering; I became a trustee and after about a year I got a job as a community gardener running after-school clubs and Saturday gardening based on food-growing.

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June 29, 2016   Comments Off on UK: ‘We had six weeks to turn a dog toilet into a community garden’

Britain: Meet the city slickers who gave up everything to start a farm

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britfarmRosanna and Ian Horsley on their farm in Devon. Credit: Christopher Jones.

A growing number of people from outside the farming fraternity are buying up agricultural land in Britain and the properties that come with them. The amount of traditional farming families acquiring land and holdings has been depleting.

By Ben Pike
The Telegraph
21 June 2016

Excerpts:

There are three types of buyer entering the market. The investor (both private and corporate), who sees farmland as a commodity; those who escape to the countryside at the weekend and won’t tend the land themselves; and the new breed of ‘good lifer’, who has ditched the city day job and are ploughing all their funds and business acumen into running the farm themselves.

Residential buyers are also piling in, lured by the large farmhouses that often come with the land. “Some buy at £1?million and some at £20?million. They want to combine a lifestyle move with involvement in active farming,” says Lawson.

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June 26, 2016   Comments Off on Britain: Meet the city slickers who gave up everything to start a farm

‘Golden Baggers’ community garden in London, UK

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goldbPhoto by Olivia Howitt.

Located in the middle of the Golden Lane Estate, adjoining the Ralph Perring Centre, between Basterfield House and Hatfield House

By Olivia Howitt
BBC
June 14, 2016

Nestled amid residential high-rises of the Golden Lane Estate – a council housing project at the northern edge of the City of London – the Golden Baggers community food-growing initiative sprang up in 2010 on the unused site of a former nursery playground. The plot proved highly popular with estate residents keen to grow their own produce in the heart of London.

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June 23, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Golden Baggers’ community garden in London, UK

Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh is 30 years old

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goerdScottish MP Willie Rennie visits Gorgie City Farm. Picture: TSPL

170,000 people visit ever year because Gorgie City Farm is simply a great day out.

By Stephen Jardine
The Scotman
June 10, 2016

Excerpt:

What is perhaps most valuable is the connection it provides to life outside the city. Last year a survey of 1,000 primary schoolchildren for the food and farming campaign group Leaf showed one in three couldn’t identify the sounds made by cows and sheep and one in five didn’t know bacon came from pigs.

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June 16, 2016   Comments Off on Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh is 30 years old

What about a Father’s Day gift that will put food on the table? An Allotment!

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fath

I did used to have a whisky optic in my allotment shed, useful when it was cold and handy for sterilising my secateurs, but probably not the healthiest idea, although it does explain why I was always happy up there!

By Ali Marshall
Torquay Herald Express
June 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The allotment feels like a quintessentially British idea, although I’m sure other countries have their own versions, with its measurements in rods (10 rods, the average size of an allotment, is about 250m2) and its linkage to our social history.

The idea can be traced right back to Anglo-Saxon times, when the trees that covered our landscape were cleared away and the land first shared out, or ‘allotted’.

From the Tudor period onwards allotments became a political and social issue, a symbol of the rebellion of peasants against wealthy landowners enclosing land.

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June 16, 2016   Comments Off on What about a Father’s Day gift that will put food on the table? An Allotment!

Thirty-five new rooftop allotment plots launched at London townhouse development

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alotlondRuth Cadbury MP (third from left) with the teams from Cultivate London and Brentford Lock West at the launch of the rooftop allotments.

Allotments will be on a year’s licence with a fee of £150 per annum.

From Brentford Lock West

Excerpt:

Situated on the roof top of Carrick Square, a collection of apartments and townhouses set around a landscaped communal garden, the allotments will be managed by the Cultivate team, who have been growing a range of fresh produce on site at Brentford Lock West since building work first began.

They will run a demonstration allotment throughout the year along with monthly workshops to inspire residents to make the most of their space and be on hand to offer advice and guidance when needed.

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June 15, 2016   Comments Off on Thirty-five new rooftop allotment plots launched at London townhouse development

How London’s new underground farms will revolutionise the way we source our food

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lundergTom Webster, co-founder of GrowUp Urban Farms, with farm manager Oscar Davidson.

Growing Underground, GrowUp Urban Farm and FARM:shop may just be the tip of the iceberg. ‘Planners are starting to plan growing into cities,’ says Dring

By Nick Curtis
Evening Standard
June 9, 2016

Excerpt:

But the biggest bar to the future of urban farms may be consumer squeamishness. When Steven Dring tells ordinary punters what he does, ‘they all think it’s about genetic modification, or Frankenfood’, unaware that most rural growers use industrial techniques far removed from traditional ideas of farming. Nevertheless, the urban farming movement appears to be catching on. ‘We get approached by developers and architects who love the idea of putting a growing space in their building for people to interact with,’ says Hofman, ‘which is a fantastic idea, but not how you get the scale of food production to feed people.’

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June 15, 2016   Comments Off on How London’s new underground farms will revolutionise the way we source our food