The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled plans for flat roofs and empty spaces in the city to be transformed into vegetables patches to promote local sustainable food production and the protection of the environment in the face of climate change.
Johnson aims to have 2,012 green plots in the city by 2012 in the hope that homegrown food might be available for the athletes in time for the 2012 Olympics.
Chair of London Food, Rosie Boycott, a former newspaper editor appointed by Johnson this summer, hopes councils, hospitals, housing estates and schools will start growing their own fruit and vegetables instead of buying them from supermarkets.
Launching the ‘Capital Growth’ project at a vegetable and herb garden maintained by a charity for disabled people in Battersea Park, Boycott said, ‘London has a good deal of green spaces—some derelict or underused—but they are not being used as well as they could be. We also have a veritable host of enthusiastic gardeners who are well equipped to turning derelict or underused spaces into thriving oases offering healthy food and a fantastic focus for the community. Capital Growth will identify spaces across the capital—often in surprising places such as roof gardens—and help London’s communities grow their own food’.
According to Boycott, potential plots could also be found on the banks of reservoirs and canals and in disused railway yards.
Johnson added that, ‘This will aid people to reconnect with where their fruit and veg comes from and cut the congestion and carbon emissions associated with the transportation of food from miles away. “Capital Growth” is a win-win scheme, good for our communities and good for our environment’.
The London Development Agency will fund a pilot scheme, costing £87,000 over the next six months to find the first 50 patches of land.
Also in the UK, Wales has recently become the first ‘Fair Trade Nation’, at the head of the project to help the world’s poorest producers get a fair price for their products. Wales has 58 Fairtrade towns, Fairtrade groups in all its 22 counties and 380 schools committed to learning about Fairtrade and Fairtrade products.
Fair Trade Wales