Community Harvest is Capital Growth’s initiative in response to the sudden onset of the pandemic to provide community food gardens the tools, materials and advice to grow more food for and with their local communities.
March 2020, the whole country went into lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Little did we know that we were then on the brink of the most significant global pandemic of our times.
In light of the crisis, we reached out to our community food gardens to ask what they needed and wanted to do, in order to understand how best we could support them. In true community spirit, many gardens expressed great enthusiasm for growing more food to donate to people living in their neighbourhoods, particularly those who need it the most.
This is how Community Harvest was born.
Phase One: Summer 2020
In Summer 2020, thanks to Farming the Future, we were able to work with 54 gardens across London (plus 12 from Manchester and Reading) who wanted to grow food for others.
54 urban gardens/projects supported to grow and distribute food
5.5 tonnes of hyper-local fresh food distributed to an estimated 6,945 households
Food valued at over £30k with recipient organisations including mutual aid groups, food banks, children’s centres and lunch clubs
270 garden leaders and volunteers given training in productive food growing
Phase Two: Winter 2020/21
With further funding to the London Community Response Fund, the second launch offered compost, gardening materials, training on getting the garden ready for the growing season. This was alongside 1-2-1 advice and help to connect gardens and growers with people that could benefit most from the food.
The 'Community Harvesters' are now part of a collective of community gardens showing how much food we can contribute to our communities using our Harvest-ometer and how food growing spaces play a key role in community resilience.
We are delighted with the beautiful video featuring three participating gardens to share a taste of the inspiring acts of community we were able to support during these unprecented times, created Emily Munster.
Please contact us if you want to find out more about the project.
Support our work
Your donation will help communities grow more food in gardens across London.
Capital Growth is a project of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.
Incredible Edible joins Sustain alliance
London’s Urban Harvest 2022 competition winners announced
What the hosepipe ban means for London's community gardens