Boris, Seb & Rosie visit BioRegional's farm to get Londoners growing

23.02.12

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Lord Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), and Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food, visited BioRegional’s urban farm in the London Borough of Sutton to launch an urban food growing initiative today.

They chose to launch The Big Dig volunteer gardening weekend at Sutton Community Farm, one of the largest community food growing spaces in London, started by BioRegional. The farm is a successful social enterprise selling its produce to local people and giving local volunteers – 400 so far – the opportunity to gain growing skills.

The Big Dig (Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March) will involve existing community food gardens throwing open their doors to people who want to get involved. This is all in support of Capital Growth, a scheme developed by Rosie Boycott to create 2,012 community food growing spaces by the end of 2012.

Anna Francis, Sutton Community Farm Manager said:
“We are proud that our farm was chosen to launch The Big Dig. It’s a brilliant idea and we would love to see lots of people from our area come along in March to get growing. It’s great fun for all the family and you can learn new skills in the fresh air”.

Boris Johnson, said:
"In this historic Olympic year, we are challenging Londoners to create a fantastic crop of new food growing gardens at the heart of their communities. Tens of thousands of people have helped us brighten up London in this way, cultivating carrots in Croydon, beetroot in Barnet and lettuce in Lewisham. We now want to inspire even more green-fingered folk to grab their wellies and have a go. The Big Dig is all about making it easy to find out more.”


Seb Coe, said:
“The London 2012 Games will showcase the best of British food with regional and local fresh produce to the diversity and choice available. This Spring, we’ll be encouraging communities to come together and Garden for the Games. This could be growing a champion’s feast with London 2012 inspired colours, sprucing up a whole area in your community or even coordinating the window boxes on your street.  The Big Dig campaign will provide a great focal point in London for this, enabling green fingered communities to come together and reap the benefits of home growing.”

The Big Dig is open to individuals and teams from organisations. For more information, visit: www.capitalgrowth.org/jointhebigdig.

Anyone who would like to volunteer at Sutton Community Farm should contact anna@suttoncommunityfarm.org.uk or call 020 8404 7085.
And if you’d like to buy vegetables from the farm go to www.suttoncommunityfarm.org.uk.

Sutton Community Farm is generously funded by Big Lottery Local Food Fund, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, NHS South West London (Sutton and Merton) and Sutton Council.

Big Dig on the news

Watch the launch on ITV News

Big Dig on ITV News

Watch Boris Johnson, Lord Coe and Rosie Boycott's visit to the farm.

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