In the final local growing sessions in Balham, Tooting and Wandsworth we celebrated progress and looked at what comes next now the programme is complete. 

We discussed harvesting and preparing food (and bringing any surpluses to the Tooting Foodival), and asked about what the participants might need next in their growing journey. 
Suggestions so far: ‘local gardeners’ question time’, a Facebook group, occasional meetings, visiting each others’ growing spaces.

Plus, local community gardens including Tooting Community Garden and Wendelsworth Community Garden can offer support.

Exploring the herb bed
With the Balham group, Rose identified plants and explained how the herb bed at Tooting Community Garden is managed, in particular how foliage is cut and left lying to suppress weeds and help prepare the ground for sowing – and the group raised a glass to celebrate.
Fresh produce laid out on the Eatwell pie chart
With the Tooting group, Belinda took us through the new Public Health England Eatwell Guide. The Guide illustrates how to achieve eating a healthy dietary balance of good food – including what we can grow in our gardens.
Our 8th Growing Tooting Handout is available for all: please click here. To see all 8 handouts, and to read each fortnightly blog post, click on GROWING TOOTING in the quick links above.  
Hats off to Martin for writing the handouts and facilitating the delivery of Growing Tooting so brilliantly! And to the others who co-facilitated: Eleanor, Belinda, Rose, Jeni and more.

In summary the Growing Tooting series of 30 local workshops reached 24 people who came to each session, another 24 who came to some of each local series, and another two dozen who are interested for another time.  70+ people are connected in a new way to local growing and each other. 

There’s an evaluation under way, and we’ll share the results.

There’s been a second major part of Growing Tooting’s activities. As agreed with the Wandsworth Big Society Fund who gave us financial support for the whole programme, we also supported local gardeners with the development of growing spaces. We’ve been working with six gardens. Please see our blog post from March for more info.

Two examples include:
Ravenstone Primary School. The school garden’s layout and access has been improved so children do not get so muddy on wet ground before returning to their next class.
The school Gardening Club has been encouraged and enthused by Mary, Barbara and Richard.
The garden has extended its reach to link with the teaching at the school, school events such as the Summer Fair and the parent body and wider community networks.
Talking of community links, Thomas from Ravenstone pushed a planted-up wheelbarrow in TTT’s #TourdeTooting extravaganza ten days ago.

CARAS Women’s Drop-in Group. TTT already work with CARAS on TTT’s Rooting in Tooting project. Growing Tooting support helped us work with a new group of CARAS service users, 12 to 18 adult refugee women who attend a weekly class devoted to english language and to participation together exploring new skills. A programme of seven facilitated sessions saw the women planting at their drop-in site, exploring favourite foods and recipes, and learning about sprouting seeds and grains at home. 
Many thanks to Silvia, Fio, Jane, Lucy, Hilary, Rosalind, Jeni and more who helped to run these classes, and to many friends who donated plants, including Martin, Jane, Deb, Fio, Chuck, and Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses.

Finally – do get in touch with us at TTT to explore how to start or keep on Growing Tooting (and Balham and Wandsworth). 
Thanks all for taking part!
– Chuck