Bandstand Beds helps communities engage with the climate emergency through food
Bandstand Beds located at the heard of Clapham Common in the South of London uses food growing to bring together the community and highlight the climate emergency.
Bandstand Beds Association (BBA) comprises gardening, environmental and sustainability enthusiasts who want to create the opportunity for Clapham’s local community to discover the joys of growing their own food, as well as bringing urgent environmental issues to light;
“food growing makes people aware of the climate emergency".
When David first started BBA, he received comments about Clapham lacking any form of community spirit but he believed food growing was the perfect way to bring small pockets of community together. His priority was to invite people from Clapham’s housing estates, where they have no space for green growing, into the garden.
The project has been a great success and the community of volunteers are able to access the food that they contributed to growing through an optional donation towards keeping the organisation running.
The garden is completely volunteer led, with everyone growing together rather than in plots. The space runs gardening sessions, donation stalls, as well as workshops on themes connected to horticulture and the natural environment. Look out for future projects taking place with BBA, including their current upcoming composting project.
During the pandemic, one of the garden's biggest challenges was sourcing compost. Thankfully, they were able to receive support from Lambeth Council who has provided extra land for their near-future aspiration of installing three new composting bays, that will hopefully go towards supplying local farmers and community food growers.
Over the past year, the garden has had to limit the amount of people on site at once to groups of six. However, to kick off Good to Grow 2021, on April 24, Bandstand Beds would is welcoming families to a session on sowing pea shoots, sunflowers and squash (that they’ll be able to take home with them!), as well as hosting an informative workshop on how to grow at home.
Good to Grow day is a celebration of community growing spaces across the UK happening on 23-26 April. Over 80 gardens are getting involved to host various events. To see if there is an event near you, check out the Good to Grow map