03 July 2008

Digging up London

Everyone else had come to London to take pictures of palaces and beefeaters, while I was there taking photos of vegetables. I did feel just a little bit eccentric...

I walked from Victoria Station up to the British Library yesterday, fighting past the tourists milling around Buckingham Palace. Cities don't really agree with me, so I took a short detour into St James's Park, where I found the 'Dig for Victory' allotment garden. I had no idea it was there (I must have a homing instinct for vegetables or something). It is a collaboration between the The Royal Parks and the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms and was set up last year.
There are two allotments at the site, one from the 1940s and the other a modern allotment. The latter has some sweetcorn and a raised herb bed, but otherwise they look pretty similar. I had a chat with one of the Royal Parks employees: she told me that the school parties that come round are really enthusiastic about the idea of growing their own food, so that's an encouraging sign for the future. I did point out that the complete lack of weeds was perhaps not entirely truly representative of a modern allotment and she admitted to having a whole army of volunteers and Royal Parkies who keep things strictly perfect.
It was great to see veg growing in the middle of the city like this. There's a plan afoot to put 6,000 acres of London into food production for the 2012 Olympics. Wouldn't it be great if that came off?


Anonymous said...

I know! You might not have seen the Monty Don 80 gardens programme which ran on the BBC earlier this year but I got really excited about the Cuban urban gardens, which hadn't come across before.

Saw this today and thought of you:

Please don't forget to tell us a bit about archives as well in your blog...

Amanda said...

Hi Sarah!

Thanks for that link - the article was clearly written by somebody who didn't bother to actually talk to anyone who's ever been to Canada. If they had, they'd know that tea, soccer and Coronation Street are all readily available there!

I do blog about archives (though not terribly regularly) over on the Deseronto Archives blog.

Anonymous said...

Aha!! Another blog to look at then.

Nick at The Tracing Paper said...

This Royal Parks initiative and lots of other inspiring activity to grow food in London, for London, were the subject of the recent Growing Food for London conference, attended by growers, activists and even artists.