July 23 2014 Latest news:
Ajay Nair, Reporter
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Residents will learn green secrets and grow their own produce after an organic food supplier was given a grant to open a community vegetable patch.
Barkingside residents will be able to cultivate everything from spuds to spinach in a new pocket park put together by social enterprise Organic Ilford.
The company, who grow their own produce and supply it to customers the same day they are picked, have received a Mayor of London funded grant to launch the patch next month at the junction of Station Road, Carlton Drive, Craven Gardens and Tanners Lane.
The £5,000 grant was given by the Transform: Edible East project, which looks to turn unused community spaces into thriving food growing gardens.
Passionate organic grower and Organic Ilford founder Toni Dipple said: “Food is one thing that connects absolutely everybody, food brings people together, for me, that’s the real pleasure.”
Redbridge Council have also contributed £1,000 towards the planned pocket park, which will host workshops on effective food growing techniques and permaculture - sustainable permanent agriculture.
Ms Dipple said: “We will be able to pick an apple instead of going to the supermarket and picking up an apple from New Zealand.” She added: “The prices of food is going up and we also need to know how to grow things.”
The London-wide initiative is supported by Project Dirt, who provide an online platform for different London pocket parks.
Project Dirt co-founder Nick Gardner said: “It’s all about getting more people involved with their local community and making them feel good about where they live.”
The Organic Ilford founder, who is not a fan of supermarket produce, said: “What you’re doing is buying food with no nutritional use whatsoever.”
Ms Dipple, who wants people to eat chemical-free food, believes more people should grow their own and that “anyone can do it.” She added: “It’s full of nutrition and we know how it’s been grown.”