Kick start a food-growing enterprise with Roots to Work

What is Roots to Work?

Capital Growth have a packed line-up for Roots to Work – an annual conference for people interested in kick-starting or developing a food-growing enterprise or career, with workshops, speakers and networking opportunities.

The event also includes the launch of the Urban Farming Toolkit with our partners, Growing Communities, plus one-to-one advice, as well as our amazing panel of key speakers and a choice of four unique workshops to get you started, or alternatively, take you to the next level.  Book NOW to guarantee your choice of workshop. Full line-up below.

Clare who joined Roots to Work 2016 and is currently training with OrganicLea said:

“the conference was so inspiring and useful that I ended up applying for a traineeship with the Castle Garden”

Programme

Speakers followed by panel Q&A

  • Lessons Learnt from Peri-Urban Farming. Alice Holden, Growing Communities- Author of ‘Do Grow’ and head farmer at Growing Communities Dagenham Farm
  • New approaches to developing livelihoods for Urban Farmers: Brian Kelly, Organiclea
  • Transitioning from volunteering to making a living: Sara Barnes – Growing Communities Patchwork Farmer and Organiclea trainee
  • Freelancing: Getting your own business growing. Hannah Schlotter of hannahgrows.com

Morning Workshops

  • Advanced growing to sell: An in-depth look at key crops, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages they present. This workshop will also explore the topics of management, planning, productivity and value. Joris Gunawardena (Sutton Community Farm)
  • How to get your urban farm started (based on the Urban Farming Toolkit) – Sophie Verhagen,  Head Grower Growing Communities Patchwork Farms

Afternoon Workshops

  • Growing the sector: how can we work together to address barriers for urban food growing enterprise. Nat Mady/Natalie Szarek – Community Food Growers Network (CFGN)
  • Diversifying income: Securing and diversifying income for community gardens: Julie Riehl – Capital Growth, Sustain

Plus Zooming in on the Future

  • Book a 15 minute 1:2:1 for advice on getting your career started from Amber Alferoff – Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens

Book NOW to guarantee your choice of workshop

Exciting Autumn food events

Get set for some food growing inspiration this Autumn with these fantastic events.

Urban Food Fortnight, 9-25 September 2016

Organised by Sustain, Urban Food Fortnight is the capital’s celebration of the fabulous ultra-local produce being grown, produced and cooked on our doorstep. Events will take place across London during these two weeks including pop-up dinners in community gardens, special menus featuring London-grown produce, food talks and more.  Try cheese from Tottenham, lamb reared in Enfield and salad grown in Hackney and take inspiration back to your own plot ready for some Autumn sowing and Spring planning. (Capital Growth)

Urban Harvest Feast, 17 September 2016

Get a taste of London’s edible gardens as Capital Growth community food growing gardens open their doors and welcome visitors in for free.  Events include foraging walks, cob oven pizza feasts, fresh apple pressing, bonfires and musical performances.  You can even enter your own school grown produce in a classic vegetable show in Stratford, or take inspiration and get tips on how to grow your own in Bethnal Green.

Check out the map to find out what’s happening near you.

London Fairtrade Schools Conference, 10 October 2016, 9.30am-2.30pm

Organised by Trading Visions and Fairtrade Foundation, this conference is to inspire pupils, teachers and support staff in London about Fairtrade. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to hear two special guests, Esther and Samuel both aged 15, from a cocoa growing community in Ghana, who will speak about the Kuapa Kokoo Fairtrade co-operative that co-owns Divine Chocolate.  Other highlights include workshops on cocoa and the impact of Fairtrade, plus a make-your-own smoothie bike, and an opportunity to learn how to taste chocolate properly – yum!

The conference is open to students aged 7-14.  Places coste £2 each and are limited to up to two adults and eight students per school.  Snacks and drinks for breaks will be provided but please bring a packed lunch.

Email roxy@tradingvisions.org to book your places.

London Fairtrade Schools Conference, Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, NW1 2BJ

 

TV gardener Chris Collins announces food growing target for London’s green fingered kids

21 March 2016

We are delighted to report that Chris Collins, best known as the former TV Blue Peter gardener, joined us as a special guest for the first ever Food Growing Schools: London conference last week.

The event took place at Argyle School in Camden and was one of two schools conferences this spring that bring teachers and schools from across London together, with the aim of inspiring and supporting them to become food growing schools.

Chris Collins is a long-standing ambassador of Garden Organic, and a big supporter of Food Growing Schools: London. His inspirational opening speech took the audience through his impressive career spanning 30 years and including lots more than Blue Peter as he’s worked extensively in Africa, at Kew Gardens and Westminster Abbey too.

Chris used the conference as an opportunity to announce that the original target for London’s biggest food growing count, the ‘Growathon’ has been met. It is estimated that over 10,000 London pupils are now involved in growing food at school, with the number climbing by the week.

Having already beaten this target, we are now setting the ambitious aim of reaching 50,000 school pupils by the end of the Summer.


TV Gardener Chris Collins inspires at the First Food Growing Schools: London conference


16 March 2016

The very first Food Growing Schools: London (FGSL) conference took place at Argyle School in Camden this week.

It was one of two schools conferences FGSL are organising this spring to bring schools from across London together with the aim of inspiring and supporting them to become food growing schools.

The FGSL North London Conference explored a variety of interactive and informative advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts. After an inspirational welcome from Chris Collins, famous TV gardener and ambassador for lead partner Garden Organic, the schools conference took place with workshops led by a number of the FGSL partner organisations, including Capital Growth and the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, School Food Matters and Trees for Cities.

The event was also supported by Chase Organic Gardening catalogue, who provided seeds for delegates, and Abel & Cole, who donated fruit baskets for the conference.

The day included a keynote speech from Chris Collins and a “Gardener’s Question Time” where the audience had the opportunity to get valuable advice from the highly skilled panel. Top tips included how to engage teenagers and how to grow using horse manure in your soil, adapting small spaces and following the seasons in the year.

Chris Collins said: “I am delighted to be the keynote speaker for the Food Growing Schools: London Conferences. I really value the opportunity to share my food growing experience with teachers and younger generations. As a long standing ambassador for Garden Organic, I am always keen to support this kind of initiative and get more schools growing.”

A limited number of places are still available for the next FGSL Schools Conference which will be on Monday 11 April in Southwark. For each conference FGSL is offering 50 free places to the schools worth £150 per delegate.

Any London school, teachers and volunteers can access free support, tips and materials by signing up to Food Growing Schools: London.


 

FGSL Schools Conference 2016

09 March 2016

North London Conference – Tuesday 15th March 2016, Argyle Primary, Camden

Tuesday 15th March in Camden (Argyle School) 50 schools will join the Food Growing Schools: London partnership for a day of school gardening workshops, packed full of growing ideas, advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts.

London schools are welcome to book a place at the next FGSL Schools Conferences which will be held on Monday 11th April in Southwark (John Ruskin).

Two venues, one conference for a day of school gardening workshops delivering  a variety of interactive and informative advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts.

Chris Collins, famous TV gardener and passionate Garden Organic ambassador, will be the keynote speaker at the two Schools conferences organised this spring by Food Growing Schools: London, a project which brings together the very best of London’s food growing expertise, information and support, with the ambition to inspire and equip every school in London to grow their own food.

Chris will be also part of the “Gardeners Question Time” activity held during the conferences which will be packed full of growing ideas for all the participants.

Outdoor Learning Conference 2016

29 February 2016

Fancy a brilliant day of workshops on topics around outdoor learning, food education and school gardening? Join the 3rd annual Outdoor Learning and ‘Plot to Plate’ Conference – Monday March 7th, 9-3pm.

Special guests this year include The Eden Project from Cornwall, Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project, The Royal Horticultural Society and The Garden Classroom. The price is only £50, including lunch and pizza from our wood fired oven. The school band will serenade attendees during the break.

Workshop topics include developing a creative curriculum outdoors, grow-to-sell and numeracy, early years gardening, plot design, cross-curricular links, forest schools in the city, quality cookery in the classroom and wildlife gardening.

Other speakers include Tom Moggach: author of The Urban Kitchen Gardener; Matthew Loveday: wildlife expert; Cassie Liversidge; Jules Rogers; Julie Riehl (Capital Growth) and Sally Stratton.

To reserve your place, please email: admin@rhylprim.camden.sch.uk or telephone: 020 7485 4899.


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TV gardener Chris Collins confirmed as the keynote speaker for Food Growing Schools: London upcoming Schools Conference 2016

18 February 2016

Chris Collins, famous TV gardener and passionate Garden Organic ambassador, will be the keynote speaker at the two Schools conferences organised this spring by Food Growing Schools: London, a project which brings together since 2014 the very best of London’s food growing expertise, information and support, with the ambition to inspire and equip every school in London to grow their own food.

Chris Collins, TV gardener, quote: “I am very excited to be the keynote speaker for the Food Growing Schools London Conferences. I value greatly the opportunity of sharing my food growing experience with teachers, and younger generations. As a long standing ambassador for Garden Organic, I am always keen to support this kind of initiatives that gets more schools growing.”

Chris will be also part of the “Gardeners Question Time” activity held during the conferences which will be packed full of growing ideas for all the participants. London schools are welcome to book a place at one of the FGSL Schools Conferences which will be held on Tuesday 15th March in Camden (Argyle School) and Monday 11th April in Southwark (John Ruskin). Two venues, one conference for a day of school gardening workshops delivering  a variety of interactive and informative advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts.

Jemima Wade, Headteacher of Argyle School, said: “Hosting the FGSL Schools Conference 2016 will be a great pleasure for us, as we foster and support food growing in our school. We are therefore pleased to share our space with other London schools during the March conference day”.

The event aims to bring together schools from across London to be inspired by the breadth of support available to them in order to grow food.  It will include a welcome address from Chris Collins and lead partner Garden Organic who will be joined by a number of partners including School Food Matters, Trees for Cities, Capital Growth and the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.

Suzy Gregory, Headteacher of John Ruskin School, said “We are very excited to host the FGSL Schools Conference 2016 at our school. Food growing plays a central part in our school, pupils take part in everyday growing that develops a love of food and an understanding of the journey from seed to plate. We are delighted to have the opportunity to share our progress with other London schools during the upcoming event in April”.

Topics will cover meeting new Ofsted and curriculum guidelines using food growing; planning and constructing a growing space, food growing and enterprise. There will also be the opportunity for tours of the on-site school gardens which host the conference, a Marketplace showcasing London school food growing organisations, and a tasty networking lunch.

For each conference Food Growing Schools: London is offering 50 free places to the schools worth £150 per delegate. For more information and to book visit: https://www.foodgrowingschools.org/events/#Schools%20Conference%202016

Looking now for food growing support materials, tips, resources? All London schools and volunteers can sign up for free on https://www.foodgrowingschools.org/