Culinary Anthropologist

Growing Communities

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Excerpt from Eat Slow Britain by Alastair Sawday & Anna Colquhoun:

Hidden from the road behind townhouses and tucked into the corner of an East London park is a secret oasis where cheery volunteers tend a cornucopia of fruits, herbs, flowers and salad leaves, destined for a ground-breaking box scheme.

“We don’t just want to supply beautiful organic fruit and vegetables, we want to reclaim control of food production and trade from agribusiness and supermarkets. We want to put the power back where it should be – with farmers and communities,” says Julie Brown, the pioneering founder of Growing Communities, a social enterprise in northeast London …

Brightening each salad bag is a single edible flower – perhaps an orange marigold or violet pansy – the input of head grower Ru Litherland, self-confessed “vegetable nerd”. Adapting permaculture principles, Ru has created lush urban gardens by planting the useful and the beautiful: banks of flowers delight volunteers and visitors and useful insects; certain flowers cleverly fix nitrogen in the soil; mustard, salsola, purslane, red orache, escarole and sorrel leaves add an extra peppery note to the mixed salads …

Growing Communities, London, England

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