Honest Tea launched its partnership with Groundwork London today at Mobile Garden City with Honest ambassador and TV presenter Julia Bradbury. The partnership will bring more green spaces and gardens to London, including moving the Mobile Garden City to Hackney to become an Energy Garden. Honest Tea’s research showed that while many Brits can’t keep a houseplant alive long term, over a third would like to grow their own fruit, herbs and vegetables at home, and half of all Brits and Londoners say their daily lifestyle would be improved if they could spend more time outdoors. An increase in community gardens would provide spaces for Londoners to grow their own food and get involved in gardening.
Julia Bradbury said, “It’s no secret that gardening and spending more time outdoors can have a positive impact on physical health and mental wellbeing – and this can be especially important to people who live in busy towns and cities.” Energy Garden’s programme brings green spaces to busy Londoners, who can stop on their commute to take part in a community garden.
Agamemnon Otero, Founder of Energy Garden, added “Energy Garden is about growing home in our concrete in our concrete alleys and grey streets. The programme endeavours to transform Overground stations into community gardens and food growing spaces, to show us how to take control of our urban environment. This programme is sustainably financed with revenue from the sale of renewable energy. Proceeds to the Solar Co-operative will pay volunteer coordinators, purchase gardening materials and equipment and arranging lease agreements on our ‘edible corridors’ for the next twenty years.”
The event included activities such as creating your own hanging plants with recycled bottles: see the instructions below!
Thanks to the work of volunteers and the Energy Garden Green Team, West Croydon now has brightly colored planters filled with ferns, lamiums, bergenias, perennial geraniums, euphorbia, liriopes and skimmias! If you pass them on your commute, please help out by watering during this warm weather!
On Tuesday the 27th of June, a tour of Energy Garden and Banister House Solar started at Brondesbury Park Overground station in North London. Colin Baines of Friends Provident Foundation
created the event in conjunction with Community energy fortnight so that UK Social Impact Investment Group
s could see community projects that are delivering social, environmental and financial returns in urban communities.
The day started with Brondesbury Park Energy Gardeners Flo and Patti preparing some cucumbers and chillies to be planted and watered by participants. Brondesbury Park was the first of what is now 22 and will be 40 community gardens across Overground station platforms.
Hopping on and off Energy Garden
station platforms, Agamemnon Otero, CEO of Repowering, shared how Energy Gardens support Biodiversity, Air Quality, and Community Wellbeing. Energy Gardens involve schools, work with established community groups, and provide paid AQA accredited training programmes to London youth.
Otero shared how important it was to support groups with finance, technical, legal and social frameworks so they could successfully navigate the landscape between local authorities and national owned assets like TFL and network rail. The 14 stage development process of Energy Garden and 9 stage process for social housing projects allowed members to state their concerns and help them deliver their ideas.
Otero shared the journey from the inception of Energy Garden and Banister House Solar to building, working with community groups, raising money, assessing the value of financial and social return to members and grantees. Residents, gardening enthusiast members, chefs and elder care workers were introduced as well.
With a social return on investment, Energy Garden is relevant to a multitude of charitable objectives, including encouraging social impact investing, grant making to the sector, climate change and other environmental benefits. These include the local, social, community and economic benefits, and the opportunity for impact investing with a reasonable return on investment. Click here
to register your interest investing.