Growing festival launched

Hawkwood Nursery

Cultivation at Hawkwood Nursery, Chingford. Credit: Nicola Tree

Waltham Forest’s annual growing festival, Cultivate, kicks off on 5th March.

Now in its third year, Cultivate has been expanded to incorporate the growing season by beginning in March and culminating with a series of events in September.

The expansion of the festival will allow an opportunity to engage with new and current growers throughout the year and fully showcase the efforts of the many growers and organisations in the borough.

Although it is organised by Waltham Forest Council, Cultivate is held in partnership with several community organisations. They include Artillery, which recently launched a project to encourage food growing in small spaces; OrganicLea, a workers’ cooperative growing food at Hawkwood Nursery in Chingford and selling it via a door-to-door veg box scheme and two stalls in Walthamstow and Leytonstone; and Capital Growth, a lottery-funded food growing network across London.

The festival features a programme of events including a compost giveaway, gardener’s Q&A, and ‘grow your own’ challenge where residents are given seeds to help them get growing and later in autumn show off their harvest.

Following the success of two raised food-growing beds in Leyton last year, 12 more are now planned in the south of the borough.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, who is championing the council initiative, said: “Our aim is to become the urban food growing borough of London.”

After this month’s activities, Cultivate returns in time for the harvest season between 3rd and 11th September.

In the meantime, Waltham Forest Summer Produce Show will be held as part of Walthamstow Garden Party in Lloyd Park on 18th July.

To see a full programme of Cultivate events and to find out how to get involved:



Call 0208 521 2155