The clocks are about to go forward and it’s officially spring time!  We celebrated the start of a new growing season by donating and swapping over one hundred packets of seeds with local people on Saturday.  The event aimed to encourage and support people, young and old, in growing food and flowers in whatever space they have.

It was a great opportunity to bring people together. We met some wonderful characters.  Two women excitedly took handfuls of seeds to share with friends and family, and a man, we coaxed in with offers of kale, shared a beautiful tale about how the scent of broad beans takes him back to his childhood in Cyprus.

Following on straight after Foodcycle,there were plenty of activities to entertain everyone. Heather, from Tooting Library, told stories like Jack and the Beanstalk; Sharon taught us how to make origami seed pots from newspapers; Belinda helped us make flowers out of plastic bags for the story walk on 5th May; and Stephanie wowed us all with paper making from straw collected from the wheat harvest at the garden last year.

One visitor summed it up, saying: “The paper making workshop was amazing. I’ve never seen paper made of straw! I enjoyed chatting with the gardeners and for the price of a piece of my overgrown mint plant, I left with poppy seeds, wild sweet peas, radish, sunflowers and hollyhock seeds – all grown in Tooting and so all the more special as I know that they could do well again this year. Thank you.”

People as young as five and as old as seventy five took away sunflower seeds collected from the community garden, to grow at home.  Tooting Community Garden is running a challenge this year to see who can grow the tallest sunflower in Tooting.  All you have to do is take a photo of the sunflower you have grown this summer and post it to our Facebook page.  We’ll announce the winner at Foodival (13-14 September). JT