On March 18th & 20th we started Growing Tooting by launching our new free series of 8 classes on learning to grow your own local city food by participating and sharing with others in your neighbourhood. 
That’s 8 classes in each of 3 locations in Balham, Tooting and Wandsworth. Many thanks to Martin for the tireless co-ordination!

Yes it’s ambitious to be offering 24 classes between now and the end of June. We’re thrilled that all the classes are now full. 
In fact, there’s a big waiting list and we may offer a fourth series tucked into this busy calendar…we’ll be in touch with those on the list.

Hands-on right from the start

In that first class we started with the basics:
What knowledge do participants have? 
What kind of space are you using for gardening? 
What do you want to grow?

What are annuals & what are perennials, and so what?

Re-purposed DIY planter

Martin prepared a handout for Session One, and everyone is welcome to a copy – please click here

Even though the classes are full, we’d like to share what we’re doing…and we encourage anyone to get in touch with us and find a local place to garden.
We want to help make local growing spaces much more visible, and get a useful network going for our area’s urban gardeners.

Encouraging new community growing spaces is the other objective of Growing Tooting. Our purpose has been to help 6 new sites start growing. Some of these are the locations of the growing classes described above, and the others are new initiatives where there’s great potential for getting growing together.
The six growing spaces are diverse in scale, purpose, style and in community setting. They are situated at a church, an enterprise, a primary school, a refugee charity and at two council estates:

  1. St Mark’s United Reformed Church, Balham 
  2. Route to Juice, Tooting
  3. Ravenstone School, Balham
  4. CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers), Tooting
  5. Wendelsworth Garden Fruit Project, Wandsworth
  6. Avening Terrace Garden, Wandsworth 

We’ll report much more from each site, and we’ll share the learning from the combined gardening class and garden-creation activities of Growing Tooting: it’s all about building local participation to grow and enjoy good local food. Many thanks again to the Wandsworth Big Society Fund for giving the project financial support. Much appreciated!
– Charles