What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
With the movement of people to cities, an ever-larger proportion of the world’s population no longer have land to grow on. Urban people have become disconnected from their food supply and food growing skills are being forgotten. Without land, people are unable to grow food in the traditional way, or to enjoy the health benefits – and sheer joy – of growing food, or the well documented social and environmental benefits it offers.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
The issue is worldwide, to give examples from the UK where I live:
35% = the increase in the number of UK households without gardens since 1995 (DOE Report, 2009)
1 in 3 = the approximate number of households that do not have a garden in London (estimate based on DOE Report 2009 and GLA ‘Focus on London’, 2011) .
68% = the proportion of supermarket salad in bags that is wasted (Tesco, 2013)
5.4 million = the number of tonnes of waste food that go to landfill each year (Hogg, D, Dealing with Food Waste in the UK, 2007)
What is your solution?
You don’t need a garden to grow your own.
Anyone with a small outdoor space with a little sun– whether a balcony, patio, or a few window sills - can grow a substantial proportion of their fresh food in containers. It’s possible to be self sufficient in herbs and salad – and significant proportion of all fruit and veg needs – in even the smallest space.
Growing your own dramatically reduces waste (as you only pick what you need), and other food waste like tea bags and coffee grounds can be recycled in a wormery to create a powerful fertiliser.
Growing at home in containers offers all the well documented health and community benefits of food growing… but with the added bonus that it is quite literally on your doorstep.
How will you deliver this?
Through the Vertical Veg Club and the Art of Growing in Small Spaces course, Vertical Veg is supporting the development of a network of informed and experienced container growers and aims to give them the tools and confidence to inform and train others.
Vertical Veg aims to be financially self sustaining through club membership fees, the Art of Growing Course, and consultancy work. In the short term, your support is urgently needed to help fund the costs while the club membership is established.