A community garden in Lambeth has been shortlisted for a funding grant that would be used to set up a dedicated vegetable patch for local children.
Streatham Common Community Garden (SCCG) was one of ten projects chosen by Higgidy as part of their ‘Seeds of Joy’ scheme, with three winners to receive £5,000 to fund their patch transformations.
Should they be selected when the vote closes on January 25th, SCCG plans to start their Little Growers Club programme.
Creating a garden specifically for young children from local primary schools, the club would equip kids with seed kits and encourage them to grow vegetables for themselves and food banks.
The scheme intends to teach seven- to 11-year-olds how to turn their produce into meals, while also developing their teamwork and leadership skills.
The impact of these lessons is doubly significant because many local children, given the urban setting, do not have access to gardens of their own.
Penny Fletcher, a trustee of SCCG, has been leading the Little Growers Club over Zoom during lockdown.
Currently only an online resource, the club offers activities that children can do at home, such as growing tomato seeds in the fridge.
Before the pandemic the garden ran cookery classes for youngsters, including the use of a pizza oven, and Fletcher is excited at the prospect of expanding the programme to include gardening.
She said: “Currently we have learner plots at the garden which tend to be for adults in the area, but for this one we want kids to have their own plot and be independent.
“Having this funding would allow us to bring in young people and for them to be enthused about growing their own vegetables.
“When they’ve seen it grow from a seed – they’ll think, maybe I will try that!”
Higgidy, co-founded in 2003 by Camilla Stephens and James Foottit, specialize in pies, quiches, rolls and tortillas.
The competition, celebrating the launch of Higgidy’s Ready to Bake Meals in Waitrose, intends to champion community gardens across the UK.
Other nominees on the shortlist includes schools, churches, and a women’s refuge in Brighton.
TV horticulturalist Frances Tophill has been chosen to help select the winners and assist them in renovating their respective patches.
She said: “Through this competition I hope to inspire people to pick up a spade and celebrate the glory of vegetables.
“I’m really excited to work with the three winning teams to help them bring their vision to life in how they want their community garden to look.”
Featured image credit: Streatham Common Community Garden