Growing Culture Events
St Mary’s Secret Garden
This beautiful and accessible community garden brought local people together to celebrate how for 25 years it has offered a safe space where people with support needs giving local people hands-on experience of gardening, gain a sense of inclusion and receive the benefits of horticulture and other eco-therapy activities. Paula, their manager, told the story of the garden from its early days and the growing history of the local area as market gardens for the City. They had lots of old photo albums for people to look though and inspire ideas. They then had a shared meal, people brought a lovely variety of foods which complemented their stuffed courgettes and salad from the garden.
Photo credit: Zoe Warde-Aldam
Spitalfields City Farm
Spitalfields City Farm - people came together to discuss the importance of volunteering at the farm and celebrated all of the human interaction that makes it an important community hub. They had a shared meal and showcased two pieces of work connected directly to the Growing Culture project’s aims - The Connected Seeds Library and their Talking Quilt. Each of these have oral histories/recordings that share individuals' experiences growing food or what they think about food and seed sovereignty.
Photo credit: Zoe Warde-Aldam and Kirsten Foster
Visitors celebrated the work of the Seed Sisters and the Seeds for a Better World project while looking at our diverse natural heritage. At the event, attendees could watch ‘Seed: The Untold Story’, eat fresh-from-the-cob-oven pizza, and explore the mobile interactive seed bank taking heritage seeds and the stories of their growers to new audiences. This hub event celebrated bringing together diverse groups of people to swap seeds and learn from each other.
Photo credit: Julie Smith
Josiah Braithwaite Community Garden
The garden hosted a heritage event for Growing Culture and had 15 visitors hailing from England, Poland, Eritrea, India, St Kitts, Sudan, and Palestine. They shared stories, food and techniques: making herb teas, combining spices to make dahl, preparing wool to dye by making skeins, mordanting the wool and preparing the dye pots, and making samosas. Visitors shared a huge feast with Indian and Caribbean food: jerk chicken, callaloo, rice and peas, samosas, dahl, pakoras, rice using vegetables picked from the garden including tomatoes and cucumbers.
Adults and children commented on the day:
‘Meeting people from different backgrounds and the lunch was amazing.’
‘Delicious home-cooked food by friendly people; getting to know people, sharing experiences of learning new things. Being one with nature’
‘The beautiful food and company’
‘The beautiful array of yummy food! Meeting new wonderful women. The gorgeous garden.’
Photo credit: Susannah Hall
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Capital Growth is a project of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.