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Category — England

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

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‘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   No Comments

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   No Comments

‘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   No Comments

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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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

Dig for victory: vegetable growing during WWII in pics

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undergAn employee of London Underground and a companion tending cabbages in a field beside South Harrow Station, September 1939.

17 great photos from The Telegram

Excerpts from comments on the site:

My Mother at 14 at the end of WWII was sent as a Landgirl to Sommerset from South East England.She remembers the Prisoners of war working in adjacent fields and there was strict no contact between the two groups.It is estimated that when Churchill talked the Wartime Cabinet to continue fighting the wwII after Dunkirk and the fall of France there was only 6 weeks reserves of food in Britain and start of starvation,and the Battle of the Atlantic was fierce 1940-1941. Yep they were sure rolling the dice and gambling with all the average peoples lives.

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June 11, 2016   Comments Off on Dig for victory: vegetable growing during WWII in pics

Cotswold Club 1944 – Growing their own, the Village Produce Association during WW2

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Rare 12 minute film.

There’s even a role for the children in bringing up the rabbits for food too!

Director: Charles de Lautour
United Kingdom 1944
Strand Film Company
Ministry of Information for Ministry of Agriculture
Donald Taylor, Edgar Anstey

If you can’t buy it, why not grow it yourself? If you’ve too much, then why not sell at the village produce stall? With WWII in full swing and many foods rationed, the Village Produce Association comes into its own in this film shot in the Cotswold village of Somerton, Oxfordshire.

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June 6, 2016   Comments Off on Cotswold Club 1944 – Growing their own, the Village Produce Association during WW2

Grow Your Own (2007 film) – comedy

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grown

British gardeners at a Merseyside allotment feel resentment when some refugees are given plots of land at their site.

Grow Your Own is a 2007 British comedy film directed by Richard Laxton, and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Carl Hunter. It stars Benedict Wong, John Henshaw, Eddie Marsan, Pierce Quigley, Omid Djalili, Alan Williams, Philip Jackson, and Olivia Colman. The film centres on a group of gardeners at a Merseyside allotment, who react angrily when a group of refugees are given plots at the site, but after they get to know them better, soon change their minds. The film was previously known under the title The Allotment.

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June 5, 2016   Comments Off on Grow Your Own (2007 film) – comedy

World War 2: Use Spades Not Ships

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spadesnot

Artist: Abram Games

Creator
GAMES, ABRAM (artist)
Chromoworks Ltd, Willesden, London (printer)
Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (publisher/sponsor)

Before the Second World War, Britain had imported 55 million tons of food each year. Merchant shipping was immediately targeted by German U Boats and additional capacity was needed to import war materials. The ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign launched at the outbreak of the war encouraged the cultivation of gardens and allotments. Millions of instructional leaflets were issued and by 1943, over 1.4 million people had allotments and were producing over a million tons of vegetables a year.

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June 3, 2016   Comments Off on World War 2: Use Spades Not Ships

Rare UK video, 1942: Greenford and Northolt Dig for Victory Campaign

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From the plot to the pot

(Must see. Mike)

The Chairman of the Allotment Gardens Committee
Councillor A. J. Johnson
1942

Take up your trowels! During WWII, Britain’s food imports were severely restricted and local councils across the country commandeered public and private land for the growing of vegetables and crops. Here, an Ealing councillor implores local residents to take on an allotment to help feed the nation. ‘Dig for Victory’ was one of the war’s most iconic and successful mass publicity campaigns.

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June 2, 2016   Comments Off on Rare UK video, 1942: Greenford and Northolt Dig for Victory Campaign

UK: The National Trust’s Top 10 Kitchen Gardens

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kitcThe kitchen garden, Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire Four-and-a-half acres of organic gardens with rare varieties and period features.

The kitchen garden, Attingham Park, Shropshire; The kitchen garden, Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire; The kitchen garden, Chartwell, Kent and more

From the National Trust

When it comes to self sufficiency, we’re leading the way at many of our kitchen gardens. From keeping rare breed chickens to growing organic Georgian prickly cucumbers, the fully working kitchen gardens on our estates are great places to witness the ‘plot to plate’ revolution. To experience a slice of the good life and learn how easy, fun and interesting it is to grow your own produce, you may like to visit some of our top kitchen gardens.

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May 30, 2016   Comments Off on UK: The National Trust’s Top 10 Kitchen Gardens

‘Generation rent’ neglecting their gardens, warns Royal Horticulture Society

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rentThere has been an increase in younger tenants, known as ‘Generation Rent’ Credit: Jeffrey Blackler/Alamy.

The Royal Horticulture Society last year launched its Greening Grey Britain campaign with the launch of Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign and a three year target to transform 6,000 grey spaces into thriving gardens.

By Patrick Sawer
Telegraph
21 May 2016

Excerpt:

“Gardens are good for our towns and cities. This reduction of plants in front gardens and increase in grey is harmful for wildlife reducing their homes and food sources,” said Ms Biggs.

“It is also damaging for the nation’s health linked to increasing pollution and increasing temperatures during heat waves and puts our homes at more risk from flooding.”

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May 26, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Generation rent’ neglecting their gardens, warns Royal Horticulture Society

Community garden workers in Manchester strip off for World Naked Gardening Day

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mansc

The team are hoping to raising enough money to install solar panels on the shop roof and need £3,000 to kickstart the process.

By Beth Abbit
Manchester Evening News
May 7, 2016

Excerpt:

A team of gardeners have thrown caution to the wind taking on their horticultural duties in the buff once again.

Staff at Hulme Community Garden Centre caused a stir when they posed in nothing but their birthday suits for World Naked Gardening Day last year.

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May 8, 2016   Comments Off on Community garden workers in Manchester strip off for World Naked Gardening Day