Home grown veg and a marrow cake that only your work colleagues would eat (photograph by Ruth Miller)

Last year I found myself with too much rhubarb and after having persuaded my workmates and immediate neighbours to take some, I still had more than I needed. So I pick some, knocked on my neighbours’ doors to offer my home grown goodies and met people I haven’t seen before. At this point, I had lived in the area for 4 years and it made me realise how easy it was to just not know anyone around here. So I gave out some plants and extra veg from my garden and didn’t think too much about it.

The growing awareness of the impact of climate change lead me to get involved with members of Croydon XR to create the Food Resilience Project, a project looking at local organising to support resilient, sustainable, and just food production in the UK. One element of this project is to create and grow hyperlocal food growing groups that not only enable us to grow food together but encourage communtiy cohesion.

With this in mind and my experience of food and plant sharing, I decided to attempt to connect with other food growers on the street through a regular meet, advertised with a park flier and leaflets and a Whatsapp group. With a bit of promotion on social media, we connected with the residents of Ross Road and the surrounding area. Our meets in the park grew and I met an amazing bunch of ‘neighbours’, members of my community that have helped grow and support this project.

We’ve swapped plants, seeds, crops, shared stories about growing, met in the park and on each other’s door steps. They have got involved in the volunteering at Grangewood Park and helped build the compost bin. They are the people that helped pack the seeds for this project and have been continually encouraging about the evolution of this project.

I hope you can join us! It’s an amazing way to meet new people!