Cultivate: The Waltham Forest Food Growing Festival

Posted on March 3, 2014 by ecoviewfinder

Our Cultivate Diary


Cultivate_finalLogoCultivate is Waltham Forest’s very first urban food growing festival, taking place over 9 days between March 21-March 30. The event will kickstart with a one-day conference hosted by Capital Growth, where established and new local food growers and home grown champions will come together to share debate to help to create and put in place initiatives for sustainable food growing in the borough. The event aims to mark Waltham Forest as the garden of London, harnessing the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of amateur and professional food and related growers. Unsurprisingly, Transition Leytonstone will be involved in 6 of the 50-odd planned events – see below.




 Friday March 21- Grow Waltham Forest: Shaping the future of food growing in the borough (opening conference)

The conference will be complemented by activities, stalls and information showing the whole food cycle and aims, amongst other things, to i) establish a Waltham Forest Food Co-operative, ii) create new community food growing plots and spaces, and iii) promote food growing for personal use and sale.

Our very own Phil Mason will be on the panel, co-presenting Vision and Leadership to Support Local Food Growing along with Sue Sheehan of the Lambeth Food Partnership.

Venue: Leytonstone Library, 6 Church Lane, E11 1HG

Time: 1pm-5.30pm (networking and party from 5.30pm-8.30pm with locally sourced food and drink from Norman Loves Food and Wildcard Brewery)

Free to Waltham Forest residents, booking essential here.


Saturday March 22 – A Vernal Equinox Celebration at Church Lane Community Garden

BigDigLogo_WebLargeOur Big Dig event. Seed sowing, seed swapping, a potluck feast and barbecue, plus an interactive ideas bank for future Garden workshops. A triangular patch of land reclaimed in 2012 from dereliction and neglect with the help of a Transform grant is now a community garden growing organic produce, hosting regular workshops and social events under the auspices of Transition Leytonstone.

Venue: Church Lane Community Garden, Harold Road, Leytonstone E11 4QX (just past the footbridge over the Central Line)

Time: 12pm–3pm

A Free Event.


Saturday March 22  at Leytonstone Market Stall (next to Matalan)

SeedSwap – 12pm-12.30pm
Organiclea and Transition Leytonstone invite you to a Seed Swap – come exchange your surplus seeds with other passionate gardeners.

A Taste of Local -1pm-3pm
Organiclea and Transition Leytonstone invite you to sample a taste of locally grown produce at their market stall made from the produce we source from local growers, our Chingford growing site and East Anglian organic farms.


Tuesday March 25 – Finding Space to Grow

new-seedsA discussion on creative ways of growing including joining a gardenshare as well as a practical session on container growing. Our Gardenshare team will be there to help with your queries and signing up to the scheme.

Venue: Leytonstone Library, 6 Church Lane, E11 1HG
Time: 7pm-9pm
A Free Event.


Thursday March 27 – Gardeners’ Q&A

Edible gardening and food growing advice, an evening in the style of Gardeners Question Time. Ru Litherland (OrganicLea) and Mihkel Manniksar (Transition Leytonstone) will be on hand to answer your questions. Bring along your surplus seeds for a seed swap. Tea and biscuits served.

Venue: The Great Hall, Adelaide Road, Leyton, E10 5NN

Time: 7pm-9pm

Free to Waltham Forest residents, booking recommended here.


Saturday March 29 – Food-a-Fair

Food-a-Fair is a spring day out to celebrate the benefits of growing, harvesting, sharing and making food from plot to plate. Everyone is welcome to discover something about the fun and benefits of food growing with a rich menu of events at Waltham Forest College. There will be a local food marketplace, information stands (we will be there!),  food-related talks in the lecture theatre, cookery demonstrations and creative growing workshops.

salad-window-boxCome along to see Shannon and Mihkel from our Community Garden. They will be running the Windowbox Wonderland workshop between 2pm-4pm, where people can learn how to grow salads and herbs and how to start seedlings of tender crops indoors. You get to take away seeds, compost and a windowbox or propagator. Places are limited to 20, so make sure to come along and book yours on the day.

Venue: Waltham Forest College, Forest Road, London E17 4JB

Time: 11am-5pm

Entrance free.


Sunday March 30th – Film: The Power of Community

poc2 041021_jm_Cuba_2415A story of local food growing and survival. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. Imports of oil were suddenly cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent. In this film the Cuban people share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis, is an example of options and hope.

The film will be followed by a discussion: “How can we grow more in Leytonstone?”

Venue: Leytonstone Library, 6 Church Lane, E11 1HG

Time: 1.30pm-3.30pm

Admission Free. Booking recommended here