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Food Up FrontAfter recent discussion of garden paving atrocities (‘Front Gardens‘), it’s time to even things up by talking about all the good things that can be done in your front garden. Riding a growing trend for city-dwellers to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables wherever they can find space, ‘Food Up Front‘ is an expanding network of urban farmers with the following mission:

To partner with the people of Greater London to promote and initiate the use of front gardens and balconies to grow and share healthy, natural food. This will reduce food miles and dependency on supermarkets, whilst increasing self-reliance and community empowerment.

Established in April 2007, ‘Food Up Front’ was inspired by co-founder Sebastian Mayfield’s failure to get his hands on a local allotment plot. “After four years, I was still only 22nd on the waiting list, so I began looking for an alternative closer to home. And then it dawned on me while lying in the bath one day, why don’t we make better use of the space we already have?”

Starting off as a small group of Mayfield’s neighbours in Balham, South London, ‘Food Up Front’ now has a network of over thirty street coordinators, with growing interest from other London boroughs. A not-for-profit enterprise, the scheme charges an annual membership fee of £20 to cover running costs and fund expansion. New members receive the following:

  • A ‘Starter Kit’, comprising a container, locally produced, peat-free compost, and some organic salad and herb seeds
  • Basic planting and harvesting guide
  • Advice and support from a Food Up Front Street Rep, a local volunteer
  • Details of Food Up Front gatherings and workshops, offering the chance to meet other members and share food growing knowledge
  • The opportunity to share and grow food with neighbours and people in the surrounding area

‘Food Up Front’ was winner of the ‘Green Group or Project’ category at the 2007 Green Guardian Awards.

Green doorstep challenge“: Timesonline

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Written by Pete Smith

April 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm

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