Boris Johnson and Seb Coe launched the Capital Growth event ‘The Big Dig’ at Sutton Community Farm last week. We joined in with the world’s largest spade!
The Big Dig is on the weekend of March the 17th and 18th and is open to participation by individuals and teams. Here’s what Capital Growth say about it:
“We are hoping to mobilise thousands of volunteers across London to help community food-growing spaces prepare for the new growing season. Volunteers will only be required to help for one day but we hope some will choose to stay involved throughout the growing season.”
Visit Capital Growth’s website and enter your postcode to find the nearest participating space (it’s also not too late to register as a host).
Capital Growth is a scheme that aims to create 2012 growing spaces by the end of 2012. There are small grants available where community groups can apply for up to £300 to get their projects up and running and new spaces who sign up this year can also enter the ‘Grow for Gold’ competition which will be judged later in the year. The competition will offer prizes ranging from Bulldog Tools to seeds and vouchers for training. We have supported Capital Growth since it’s beginning in 2008.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said ‘In this historic Olympic year, we are challenging Londoners to create a fantastic crop of new food growing gardens at the heart of their communities. Tens of thousands of people have helped us brighten up London in this way, cultivating carrots in Croydon, beetroot in Barnet and lettuce in Lewisham. We now want to inspire even more green-fingered folk to grab their wells and have a go. The Big Dig is all about making it easy to find out more.’
Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), said: ‘The London 2012 Games will showcase the best of British food with regional and local fresh produce to the diversity and choice available. This Spring, we’ll be encouraging communities to come together and Garden for the Games. This could be growing a champion’s feast with London 2012 inspired colours, sprucing up a whole area in your community or even coordinating the window boxes on your street. The Big Dig campaign will provide a great focal point in London for this, enabling green fingered communities to come together and reap the benefits of home growing.’
Since its launch in November 2008, Capital Growth has provided practical and financial support to food growing spaces that are now thriving in a range of diverse places including schools, roofs, canals and even skips. By growing and cultivating food they have greened and improved local neighbourhoods and brought communities together.