Hackney: Edible playgrounds and community growing gardens

Growing your own food is becoming popular in Hackney pic: Hackney Council

Growing your own food is becoming increasingly popular in Hackney, which has 125 Capital Growth food sites, the highest of any London borough.

Fourteen additional food growing sites have now been added to the existing edible playgrounds and community allotments built in neglected spaces and derelict land. Among the communities chosen for the new sites are Pembury Estate Eastside and Westside; London Fields Primary School and Rhodes Estate Tenants and Residents Association.

Hackney Council’s cabinet member for health, social care and culture, Jonathan McShane, said that growing your own food was a “great way to teach children about healthy eating” and could also save money. McShane encouraged Hackney residents to find disused outdoor spaces near them on which to set up food growing projects.

Hackney Council has pledged to support food growing projects across the borough to encourage more residents to grow their own food. The council also offer advice on their website for people interested in growing their own food who are unable to get a place on the hotly contested Capital Growth sites.

The Capital Growth campaign aims to create 2,012 new food growing spaces by the end of 2012. The campaign offers support to communities around London, helping people get access to land and create successful food growing spaces.

Are you a community or volunteer group who wants to start growing their own food? You can put yourself forward to Capital Growth for practical help, training and support. Landowners can also apply for their land to be used in the scheme.

To find out more visit www.capitalgrowth.org/apply/ or call 020 7837 1228.

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