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Category — England

UK: Prisoners restore broken garden tools to give away to schools and community groups

Launching the Tools Shed Norfolk at Mayton Wood recycling centre are, from left, Janice Coglin-Hibbert, Norfolk County Council waste reduction officer, Martin Edwards, head of reducing reoffending at HMP Norwich and Jack Narbed, Tools Shed project manager at The Conservation Foundation. Picture: Matthew Usher

Prisoners will be using new-found technical skills to restore gardeners’ broken and unwanted tools to give away to schools and community groups as part of an innovative rehabilitation project.

By Andrew Papworth
Diss Mercury
Apr 7, 2018

Excerpt:

“Participating in the scheme boosts their skills and confidence, as well as teaching practical skills which can be used when they leave prison.”

Janice Coglin-Hibbert, Norfolk County Council waste reduction officer, said: “So many of us have tools in our garden sheds that take up space but have outlived their usefulness and we’d encourage gardeners to bring these to our recycling centres at Mayton Wood and Ketteringham.

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April 13, 2018   No Comments

UK: Freightliners City Farm at 40: A refuge from city life in London

Freightlinders City Farm under construction in the late ’70s. Picture: Freightlinders City Farm.

Though 2018 is a year of celebration for Freightliners, there’s also nagging doubt. Its future is under threat.

By James Morris
Islington Gazette
Apr 4, 2018

Excerpt:

“We’re not 100 per cent certain of how it started,” Liz admits. “But we think it goes back to 1973, where the Maiden Lane Estate is now, on the other side of the Cally.

“We do know it was a community group coming together wanting to keep their own animals, grow food and live a bit of the good life. There was always a focus on children and young people, and giving them a safe space.

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April 12, 2018   No Comments

UK: Walney pupils delighted to get to work in transformed allotment space

Pupils working in the transformed allotment space at Vickerstown Primary School.

Children at Vickerstown Primary School can now enjoy gardening and growing vegetables for healthy eating projects in the exciting learning area.

By Natalie Chapples
The Mail
16 March 2018

Excerpt:

In gardening club, the children have planted seeds in pots which are growing into cress and various vegetables. The aim is to give the children more responsibility to look after the plants and also promote healthy living. The hope is to provide vegetables to the school kitchen to use in the school dinners.

Back in August last year school staff decided to tackle the overgrown allotment area to kick start a healthy living project.

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March 25, 2018   Comments Off on UK: Walney pupils delighted to get to work in transformed allotment space

UK: Lambs arrive at Kentish Town City Farm in London

Volunteer Louis Golfier with one of the lambs.

‘I have never seen a black lamb with a white head and tail’

By Helen Chapman
Camden New Journal
Mat 16, 2018

Excerpt:

The young animals are said to bring more visitors to the city farm, spring being its busiest time of year. Twin lambs were born on Friday to a mother ewe named Lucky and one was born on Saturday to mother Motley.

Louis Golfier, 16, has been volun­teering at the farm for seven months.

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March 21, 2018   Comments Off on UK: Lambs arrive at Kentish Town City Farm in London

UK: Mayor visits sheep and apprentices at Mudchute city farm on the Isle of Dogs

Mayor Biggs wasn’t sheepish about meeting the animals at Mudchute urban farm on the Isle of Dogs. Picture source: LBTH

The money to pay for their training comes from levies that the council, like all local authorities, charges developers for planning consent on major schemes, to benefit the community.

By Mike Brooke
East London Advertiser
March 12, 2018

Excerpt:

Europe’s largest urban farm has been given Tower Hamlets Council funding for three new apprentices, with two recruits just joining the first apprentice who has been working on the farm for a year.

Tanjima Khanam, 21, from Poplar, was already volunteering at the farm when the apprenticeship opportunity came up.

“It’s been quite a journey to get here,” she said. “I want to stay here for as long as possible.”

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March 18, 2018   Comments Off on UK: Mayor visits sheep and apprentices at Mudchute city farm on the Isle of Dogs

Scotland: The New Craze For ‘Front’ Garden Allotments


‘Eat Your Front Garden’ author, Mat Coward, has been writing a monthly column on organic gardening for the Morning Star newspaper since 1993. Mat started gardening seriously in the late 1980s, when he rented his first allotment.

With growing space at a premium – especially in cities – and waiting lists of nearly ten years for allotments in Glasgow and Edinburgh, there is a growing trend to turn front gardens into “quirky and fun” allotments allowing keen gardeners to grow edible plants that look good and feed the family.

By Karin Goodwin
The Herald
Mar 10, 2018

Excerpt:

There is, however, a worry that turning your front garden into an allotment might upset neighbours and make growers the talk of the street if a potato patch suddenly appeared where a lawn once was. However, Coward said: “My book puts forward the idea of the ‘Invisible Allotment’.” He has collected a list of more than 30 plants which can be grown for food which don’t look like crops, including Caucasian spinach and bamboo. “Sometimes they are edibles in their countries of origin which we’ve adopted as ornamentals, some of them are traditionally used as edibles, but you wouldn’t know it by looking. My main criterion is that these are plants you can grow openly out front without anyone raising an eyebrow.”

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March 16, 2018   Comments Off on Scotland: The New Craze For ‘Front’ Garden Allotments

UK: WalthamGrow and Chef Supported Agriculture

WalthamGrow.

They partnered with Marmelo Kitchen, a London restaurant already buying their salad regularly.

By Mathilde Currid
2017

Mathilde Currid and Alok Shah began WalthamGrow as a grow-to-sell salad enterprise in Summer 2016 with the help of Organiclea’s Farm Start project. Learning from their experience as Salad Starter trainees at Organiclea’s Hawkwood Community Plant Nursery in London, UK, they took over the care and cultivation of a 120 m2 residential garden site when the opportunity presented itself in May of that year.

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February 15, 2018   Comments Off on UK: WalthamGrow and Chef Supported Agriculture

UK: TV’s Mark Lane helps turn derelict Whitechapel wasteland into a gardeners’ world

The site was full of rubble and weeds, but volunteers have turned it into a lush garden with an orchard, pond, plant nursery and food growing area.

By Mike Brooke
Dockland sand East London Advertiser
Feb 14, 2018

Excerpt:

Mark himself has to use a wheelchair after his car crash. But the former Royal Institute of British Architects’ director retrained and set up a garden design business, then joined the Gardeners’ World programme.

“I am living proof of how the great outdoors and wildlife can change your life,” he said.

“My disability in a strange way has made me determined to promote the great outdoors to others.

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February 15, 2018   Comments Off on UK: TV’s Mark Lane helps turn derelict Whitechapel wasteland into a gardeners’ world

Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens and Care Farming UK agree merger

Discussions about the new name and branding of the merged organisation are ongoing

By Matthew Appleby
Horticulture Week
23 January 2018

Excerpt:

The new organisation will build on the work of the two current organisations, representing and supporting the delivery of care services and community development through farming and gardening activities.

FCFCG chair David Drury said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm the merger with Care Farming UK. We believe this move will help us deliver better services and more benefits to our members, and enhance our power to influence Government and funders, as well as increasing our public profile.”

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January 29, 2018   Comments Off on Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens and Care Farming UK agree merger

UK: Allotment murder recounted in court

Lea Adri-Soejoko, 80, was found in a padlocked mower shed next to the allotment office at 2.33am on February 28 after they followed the sound of her ringing mobile phone.

41-year-old was allegedly known by other plot holders for his ‘violent behaviour’

By Amie Gordon
Daily Mail
9 January 2018 |

Excerpt:

Ms Tomlinson said her grandmother told her of an incident at an annual general meeting in September 2016.

She said: ‘Everything with the allotment tends to be quite passionate. People care. This AGM, there were a lot of people talking over one another.

‘And my grandmother wasn’t able to chair the meeting as she intended to. Rahim had been louder than the rest, by his general nature.

‘So my grandmother had said, ‘shut up’, so she could chair the meeting. To which he took offence, and shouted at her.

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January 16, 2018   Comments Off on UK: Allotment murder recounted in court

UK: Man bought 55lb of fertiliser and got a visit from the terror police

The 47-year-old’s eBay order of a 55lb sack of explosive calcium nitrate fertiliser and growing tubes was flagged to police as potential terrorist activity

By Andy Dolan
The Daily Mail
Nov 3, 2017

Excerpt:

As an award-winning vegetable grower, John Handrahan-Cook will go to any length to produce the perfect crops.

But an online purchase of fertiliser and pipes for his super-sized onions, runner beans and radishes produced unexpected results – a visit to his semi-detached house by police.

The 47-year-old’s eBay order of a 55lb sack of explosive calcium nitrate fertiliser and growing tubes – together with more fertiliser, screws and plastic sheeting to build an onion house – was flagged to police as potential terrorist activity.

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November 11, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Man bought 55lb of fertiliser and got a visit from the terror police

UK city farms and community gardens – in pictures

A special moment for a visitor and a resident goat at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield, a working farm and environmental visitor centre in the heart of the city. Photograph: Philippa Willitts

Some 200 city and school farms in the UK, as well as more than 1,000 community gardens, are supported by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.

The Guardian
Oct 27, 2017

Excerpt:

These community projects are not just fun places to visit with children: they use green space and growing plants and animals as a catalyst for real social action. Here is a taste of the urban countryside.

Many of the UK’s community growing sites are located in some of the most deprived urban areas, where people have little access to their own outside space. Research shows that taking part in gardening and farming activities can increase wellbeing and where community sites have been developed on wasteland, this can lead to a reduction in antisocial behaviour, such as fly-tipping and vandalism.

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November 3, 2017   Comments Off on UK city farms and community gardens – in pictures

UK: Bees do better in the city than the countryside because of their ‘varied diet’

Merry Little Tales for merry little hearts. 1856. Click image to see larger file.

Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average

By Katie Morley
Telegraph
Oct 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Honeybees in cities and suburban areas are producing more honey than those in rural areas, figures show, amid fears that the species is in grave decline.

Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average, according to a survey by the British Beekeepers Association. This compares to rural gardens, which produced an average of 22.5 lbs of honey per hive, around a fifth less.

Previous research has shown that honeybees in towns and cities enjoy a more diverse diet and find a richer diversity of pollen. This is because they visit a much wider range of flowers than bees foraging in the countryside.

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Bees do better in the city than the countryside because of their ‘varied diet’

The Future of Farming – Underground

Rows of microgreens at the Growing Underground facility in London. Growing Underground.

“Urbanization is the largest movement of humans in the history of humankind,” Epstein said. “Urban environments are also food deserts, because all the food is grown on the outskirts. That has to stop.”

By Irina Ivanova
CBS Moneywatch
October 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Until recently, hydroponics usually came with high start-up costs, meaning a farmer could wait for years before seeing a profit. Dring, who recently reached a distribution deal with Marks and Spencer, one of the U.K.’s largest retailers, expects Growing Underground to break even later this year.

“I’m going to get drunk for a week when that happens,” he joked. “I’ve already told my investors.”

Beyond the novelty of growing food in the bowels of London, Growing Underground’s approach shows that it’s possible to feed a growing population without the carbon-intensive effects of conventional industrial agriculture, which is in many ways unsustainable.

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October 22, 2017   Comments Off on The Future of Farming – Underground

1st International Conference on Urban Agriculture and City Sustainability

Urban Agriculture 2018, October 9 – 11, New Forest, UK

Organised By:
Wessex Institute, UK
Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain

Introduction:

The aim of the Conference is to review and discuss ways in which urban agriculture can contribute to achieve sustainable cities.

As urban populations continue to increase it is essential to consider ways of reducing their impact in terms of use of natural resources, waste production and climate change.

The increasing number of people in cities requires new strategies to supply the necessary food with limited provision of land and decreasing resources. This will become more challenging unless innovative solutions for growing and distributing food in urban environments are considered.

The scale of modern food production has created and exacerbated many vulnerabilities and the feeding of cities is now infinitely more complex. As such the food system cannot be considered secure, ethical or sustainable.

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October 19, 2017   Comments Off on 1st International Conference on Urban Agriculture and City Sustainability