London’s Urban Harvest 2023 competition winners announced

Congratulations to Edible Rotherhithe, Cranbrook Community Food Gardens, Friends of Frendsbury Gardens, and Octopus Community Plant Nursery, this year's Urban Harvest winners.

Members of Cranbook Community Food Garden enjoying a climate friendly meal. Credit: Lizzy Mace

Members of Cranbook Community Food Garden enjoying a climate friendly meal. Credit: Lizzy Mace

Between 15-22 September, Capital Growth's 14th annual Urban Harvest initiative helped gardens celebrate the wonderful food grown in urban areas, and the diversity of people involved, through seed swaps, harvest activities, hands-on workshops, delicious community meals and more.

Every year, we run a few competitions to encourage gardens to take part in Urban Harvest and capture all the action from their wonderful harvest celebrations.

This year’s competition categories were:

  • Best ‘Climate-friendly Community Meal’
  • Best 'Harvest Action Shot'
  • Heaviest pumpkin or squash recorded using our Harvest-ometer

Thanks to everyone who got involved in this year's Urban Harvest and a special thanks to all the gardens who took part in our 2023 competition! 

Our three winning gardens and one runner-up shared some great shots of their gardens in action, with pictures of families getting stuck in to the harvest, a furry garden volunteer, and a community meal bursting with colour. 


Best Climate-friendly Community Meal - Cranbrook Community Food Garden, E2 

Members of Cranbook Community Food Garden enjoying a climate friendly meal. Credit:  Lizzy Mace
Credit: Lizzy Mace


To celebrate this year's Urban Harvest, Cranbrook Community Food Garden in Bethnal Green cooked up a climate-friendly feast that reflected the diversity of their members. Lizzy Mace from CCFG said:

We made the most of the late summer sunshine for our Harvest Feast, and piled our plates high with freshly-made salads. With dishes made by members from locally-grown food, with low-or-no cooking, and mostly vegan (just some eggs and cheese on the side), it was not only a joyful community meal but climate-friendly too! The 17 dishes included Middle Eastern tabbouleh, garden pesto couscous, and Asian chilli-smashed cucumber, reflecting our diverse members. I couldn't stop going back for more!

Salads and dishes from Cranbook Community Food Garden's Urban Harvest 2023 community meal . Credit: Aleksandur Genov
Credit: Aleksandar Genov

Best Harvest Action Shot - Edible Rotherhithe, SE16 

Edible Rotherhithe welcomes Surrey Square School community as part of their Urban Harvest celebrations. Credit: Edible Rotherhithe
Credit: Edible Rotherhithe


Edible Rotherhithe came out on top this year for their harvest action shot. Edible Rotherhithe are a community food growing, gardening and arts charity based in Southwark, London that works between schools, educational facilities and community centres, to offer food growing, gardening and arts & crafts workshops for children and parents. They opened their polytunnel to pupils, parents and carers from Surrey Square School and gave away growing kits as part of Urban Harvest week. 

Christina Wheatly from Edible Rotherhithe said:

Being part of Urban Harvest is a great way to connect and involve pupils, parents and carers. Sharing our volunteering work with the wider Surrey Square School community and encouraging and supporting them to grow their own. 

Runner Up - Friends of Frendsbury Garden, SE4 

A feline volunteer inspects the compost at Frendsbury Gardens. Credit: Friends of Frendsbury Gardens
Credit: Friends of Frendsbury Garden


Our runner up action shot this year features a helpful furry volunteer from the Friends of Frendsbury Garden in Nunhead. It goes to show there are no species limits to getting involved in community growing! 

Heaviest pumpkin or squash - Octopus Community Plant Nursery, N7 

A table of squash and pumpkins grown in Octopus Community Garden. Credit: Octopus Community Garden
Credit: Octopus Community Plant Nursery


Finally, a big congratulations to Octopus Community Plant Nursery for winning the heaviest pumpkin or squash competition!

The Octopus Community Plant Nursery in Islington is a thriving community garden hidden away behind the McCall estate in Tufnell Park. They have turned what was a piece of derelict land into a food growing hub, composting hub and social place where local people come to volunteer with them. They run several sessions a week on plant care and food growing. They share the food they grow with the volunteers and with local community lunch groups. Every week they weigh the harvest and add the data to the Sustain Harvest-ometer. The results are fed back to the volunteers and the Octopus board members who are all keen followers of their output. 


Katherine Lowe from Octopus Community Plant Nursery said:

This year we had a bumper crop of various squash, courgettes and pumpkins as shown in the photo. These were shared with local residents, volunteers and community kitchens. We made a big soup with some of the squash & other vegetables for the day and had live music from a couple of bands. Jill, one of our volunteers, presented a short talk about recycling soft plastic.

Thank you to all the 24 gardens that took part in Urban Harvest 2023, and again to everyone who submitted entries to our competitions. We can't wait to see you all next year for what we hope to be our biggest Urban Harvest yet!


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