Thursday, July 28, 2011

Deptford Launch #2 – Deptford Project Garden

Tuesday afternoon saw the launch of Deptford Project: An Urban Harvest in the Deptford Project yard behind the railway carriage. This 'community' garden, designed by Alex Bell, is sponsored by Greenwich Community Development Agency  and Cathedral plc, and was created for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2011. It has now been relocated back in Deptford for a short period.

Schools and volunteers from the Greenwich area helped to grow plants for the garden and to create the painted CD-box sculptures. The aim is to raise awareness of growing food in an urban environment.
Rosie Boycott, aka London's "food tzar" and chair of the London Food Board (and pictured below with Claire Pritchard of GCDA), was invited to cut the ribbon.

Hospitality included music from local blues guitarist Steve Morrison and seasonal food grown and made in the area such as smoked salmon hand prepared, cured and smoked by the 'Little Greenwich Smokery', cheese from the Greenwich Cheeseboard, free range Kent eggs, handmade chutneys from 'Potters of Brockley', and ham and humus prepared by Greenwich Kitchen (a GCDA training project). 

Guests at the opening mostly included those involved in the Cathedral development  – so there were a lot of suits. A model of the development was on show along with drawings and a booklet called Public Property (a paeon to public private partnership – the new PPI?).

Apparently there will be allotments on the top of the Richard Rogers building. No kidding.

Meanwhile, the garden's designer Alex Bell writes about his garden on a BBC gardening blog: "Urban food production provides an excellent means of involving groups such as women, ethnic minorities and older adults in socially productive activity. It also provided a valuable means of expression of local or ethnic activity, for example, growing culturally significant produce...

"Food growing provides communities with opportunities for community cohesion, community capital, access to healthier food, gentle exercise, community learning and often leading to happier, safer communities. Our sponsors (GCDA) have also developed growing projects in partnership with supported accommodation, schools, children centres, day centres, MIND, Age Concern and Older Peoples Services working with adults with learning difficulties and recently with centres for higher education."

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