Tonight is the TTT 2016 Gardening Celebration – plus we’re looking forward to exciting things in 2017. The event is at The Selkirk near Tooting Broadway from 7:00 pm.

To celebrate the celebration:
here are five current growing, gardening and sustainability events and ideas to follow up even if you can’t make it tonight:

1 TTT attended the bi-annual Wildlife Gardening Forum last week at the Natural History Museum. This is always an amazing and cross-cutting event with around 100 participants – private gardeners, schools, local authorities, biodiversity and growing charities, researchers, enterprises.

The theme this time was learning from European experience in Germany, Belgium, Austria the Netherlands, Ireland (oh, and Scotland).
Why learn from Europe? Click on the photo…

We learned a German word – schwammstadt  – meaning ‘sponge city’. A sponge city is redesigned to be responsive and adaptive to climate change impact and allow for more natural rainfall retention, reducing runoff. (See the event on December 8th in para 4 below).
Anyone can attend the Forum; it’s a great day when you can meet experts and work out what ideas you can use yourself. And all the presentations appear for free on the WLGF website in due course.

2 TTT joined Capital Growth’s ‘Roots to Growth’ workshop.
We looked at the experience and potential of farming as an enterprise within London.

There’s tons of good info on the Capital Growth site – all these reports are free downloads.

While the pleasure and impact of growing together is not only about saving money and managing our budgets, what do you think is the annual value of the crops grown by 2000 London gardens linked to Capital Growth? Include crops for sharing, not only veg which are sold, so you can include Tooting Community Garden’s pumpkins in the calculation. Have a guess – the answer is at the end of this blog.
We could take up the challenge of recording our crops – see the Harvest-ometer from Sustain.  
This kind of data is very valuable in order to be able to make our case for more growing in London!
TTT’s friend Mark at Vertical Veg has documented the equivalent value of what he grows – click here to read about it.

Plus here’s a great idea: three new projects each pitched their idea for two minutes – and we voted during the day so that one project won £50, one £100 and one £150.
You really can make your point in two minutes – it was very impressive!

3 We hosted a meeting with the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society supported our 2015-16 Rooting in Tooting project via their Greening Grey Britain campaign. Ten days ago we met Brid O’Dwyer from the RHS for a ‘walk and talk’ around Tooting to discuss our own experience of urban growing and what gardens like ours look for in terms of support. At the same time the RHS is refining its own approaches to supporting community projects. We had a short chat with Sarah Bailes at Share Community gardens in Springfield Hospital:

There the conversation included making the RHS certification schemes accessible to a wider audience, for example people with a range of learning difficulties.

4 Looking forward, TTT is a partner in a 2017 hot-composting project originated by our friend Martin (who ran most of Growing Tooting earlier this year). This project has received support from Wandsworth Borough Council, and will ask individuals, families and schools to compare experience of using hot composting bins. Please contact TTT for information.

5 Also looking forwards, on 8th December Joanna Ecclestone from London Wildlife Trust will be speaking at the Wandsworth Environment Forum about the benefits of replacing areas of paving with planting to create rain gardens. Free to join in, details here.

Early in 2016 TTT also helped build a green roof at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, a project funded from the London Wildlife Trust. Green roofs have exactly that purpose of allowing downpours to slow down and soak into soil rather than being trapped by paving. That’s urgent, and not just a ‘nice to do’ in areas prone to flooding.
Plus on December 8th there will a special TTT prize for anyone who uses the word schwammstadt.

Good Growing and enjoy the celebration this evening!
PS the value of crops grown in London in spaces linked to Capital Growth is over £2 million – see the Reaping Rewards report