Spring is on its way and with it comes the opportunity to get outdoors, hone your food growing skills and help out at one of the many community food growing spaces in London.
At this time of year a number of these projects provide apprenticeship schemes that will enable you to experience a full growing season in an urban environment, understand the practicalities of operating a financially sustainable community-based market garden and how to coordinate volunteers from a variety of walks of life to further expand the benefits of food growing in the local community.
The time commitment and opportunity for paid positions vary. Whilst most ask for a one day a week commitment, unpaid (often providing support for travel costs), there are some that offer paid positions. They begin in March/April and run for varying amounts of time spanning the year’s growing season.
Many of these are run with a view to enabling people who complete them to go on to run other food growing projects or indeed set up one of their own. The knowledge they have and networks they are a part of provide an invaluable resource for people who aspire to adding to the growing network of community food growing sites. Apprenticeships are a great way to utilise these experiences and meet people others who are involved in the network. Many will also be able and more than happy to advise on issues such as; how to acquire land, fundraising, operational management of commercial (not for profit) food growing. Further to this apprentices will gain experience in facilitating the involvement of a variety of people from the community to work both productively and in harmony to grow food, learn from one another and often enabling therapeutic benefits.
Below is a list of projects either currently recruiting or who will be in the not too distant future with links to their websites where you can find out more information:
– Growing Communities – 3 Urban Market Gardens: Springfield Park, Allens Gardens and Clissold Park. (Closing date or applications 19th Feb)
– Sutton Community Farm – 40a Telegraph Track, Wallington, SM6 OSH. (Closing date for applications: 17th Feb)
– Food from the Sky – 21-23 The Broadway, Crouch End, London, N88DU. (Applications will open later this year)
– Organiclea – 115 Hawkwood Crescent, Chingord, E4 7UH. (Applications for a number of positions open later this year)
– Roots and Shoots – Walnut Tree Walk, London, SE11 6DN. (On-going training and education for 16-19 year olds)