What’s Vital Now? is an online series that shares voices from different communities, sectors and disciplines, on what we can do to create more inclusive and sustainable places that bring people together while responding to the needs and aspirations of our diverse communities.
Incredible Edible Lambeth was established 8 years ago in 2012 as a Community Interest Company. Its aim is to support people and communities, through growing and celebrating food. The team engages with and encourages people to look at their local area and see how they can transform it by adding food growing space. They want to support a local food economy that thrives, employs more local people and keeps money in Lambeth.
IEL works with many local establishments and charities such as Lambeth Larder, South Lambeth Botanical Institute, Lambeth Horticultural Society and The Remakery. Its 100+ member gardens include Myatt’s Fields Park, Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, Brixton Windmill and Thorlands Gardens, dozens of community gardens, ten schools, several cafes and food entrepreneurs. You can find all of its members on this helpful map.
Janie Bickersteth, Chair of IEL meets with Valcie McIntosh who is Chair of ALTHTRA Gardens and Allotments (formerly Landor Road Gardens) and also runs Papa’s Park, to discuss ‘What If…. Lambeth managed its green spaces for biodiversity and food growing?’
Valcie and Janie’s recommendations include;
- Using car free days as an opportunity to initiate growing days, to bring communities together and growing across the borough
- Growing organically and quitting chemicals across Lambeth
- Establishing a Head of Allotments and Growing role, to encourage families and the community to grow especially those in high rise housing.
- New builds should have dedicated growing spots
- What if all estates grew food and banded together to develop green initiatives?
- Possibly adding a growing clause to housing, to establish more green spaces and growing for future generations.
- Encouraging children to grow and visit allotments to instill a love and appreciation of growing.
- Using and transforming derelict land to help families and communities become more self-sufficient.
If you’d be interested in joining Incredible Edible Lambeth as an individual or group you can sign up here, you can also catch up with the team on the IEL Blog.