By Louisa Strain and Kathryn Bromwich from The Connect Group and The Green Group
On Friday 16th March 20 volunteers from SAGE London donned their wellies and spent the day gardening in Bethnal Green, East London. Volunteers were recruited to participate in the Big Dig – a London wide scheme organised by Capital Growth: http://www.capitalgrowth.org/. Capital Growth is an initiative set up by the London Food Link, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund. The ultimate aim is to create 2012 new growing spaces in London by the end of 2012.
The Teesdale and Hollybush Estate has set up a thriving community growing project, led by enthusiastic volunteer Margaret Cox, which involves residents of the estate growing fruit and vegetables and then selling the produce to local restaurants and markets. The estate has approximately 48 fruit and vegetable growing spaces that families from the estate use to grow produce for their own use. Most of these families have no other access to their own outdoor space.
SAGE employees got straight to work in the Strawberry Fields Urban Orchard weeding, digging and generally making the garden look pretty. The afternoon was spent tidying up the community garden space which included clearing dead leaves, trampling on compost heaps and digging up and replanting lavender plants.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and agreed that a day away from the office working in the outdoors was a definite stress buster and well worth doing again!