Posted by: katiejhill | April 1, 2014

What did we find out?

The practical part of the project is over, we’ve harvested all of our stories and reflections, and we are currently writing up our project reports, including a community leaflet to share the stories, recipes and reflections on food growing gathered through the project.

We expect the reports to be published in July 2014, so please visit our site again then! IMG_0001

Posted by: katiejhill | October 1, 2013

Poetry at the Food Growing Festival

Thank you to everyone that came to the Food Growing Festival to share your stories about growing food. Poet Michelle Scally Clarke spent the afternoon talking to people and gathering ideas for this poem which captures the spirit of the stories we heard:


The Cycle of Life


I grow food for colours

The cycle of life

When one plant dies a different food arrives

And thrives

As I sow and seed, and I’m on my knees

My heritage stands with pride

Dig for victory

A pole of land

Given to every woman and man

From ground to hand

My grandfather

grew celery and cucumber

For Christmas dinner

He also kept chickens

And one year we ate Sarah

Being with my step father

Planting seeds

As a kid, I have a memory

Sitting under the alleys arches of runner beans

Always having something tasty to eat

Blackberries and elderberry wine

Coriander ,spinach, lettuce, radish, cress , chives

It enriches my soul, body and mind

And put me in touch with mother nature

We grow, rhubarb, peas, strawberry’s and leeks

But the leeks flowered

So we left them for the bees

As their treat

I grow food to show my children

That nature is perfect in it’s different shapes and sizes

That perfect does not come from the supermarket

I draw the food, the whole cycle

Of how we are living and for a source of imagery

I enjoy being out in the garden,

The cathedral of leaves, it’s my place of peace

My sanctuary.

I eat it, share it, give it away

It looks good but taste’s better

I like singing to my plants

A bit of a show-tune

They love a bit of country or dolly Parton

The joy of growing, soil and weather

The cycle of life

When one plant dies another food thrives.


Michelle Scally Clarke

Posted by: frapanella | September 20, 2013

Food Growing Festival

28SeptFoodGrowFestFlyerA celebration of growing your own food

Saturday 28 Sept 2013   2 – 5pm

At Harehills Lane Baptist Church, 13 Hilton Place, Leeds LS8 4HF

 Free food        Craft workshops     Poetry      Family Activities      Free plants and seeds

All food growers welcome!

This event is supported by the GEM research project in partnership with Back to Front and Space2 and we are collecting stories about what growing food means to people.

To help with our planning please RSVP to

For info on GEM visit their website

For more info on Back to Front click here

Posted by: katiejhill | June 12, 2013

Getting crafty!


Lots of us are growing plants in small spaces, and it can be a challenge to find things to grow our plants in, but this crafty idea from our Space2 facilitators is a great way to use up waste plastic bottles and make use of some of our wall space! The only thing is, it needs a lot of watering as there is quite a small amount of soil in there. However, with a bit of clever positioning you can line up a couple of these above each other, and have other pots underneath, so that when you water them the water that runs through isn’t wasted. It’s also a good idea to put the drainage holes at the sides rather than underneath, so a little bit of water can collect in the bottom of the bottle to keep the soil damp. It’s all about experimenting though – give it a go!

Posted by: katiejhill | April 15, 2013

Ready, Set, Grow…


We have found two fantastic groups to work with, and are starting our food growing workshops!

We are working with a group of residents in Harehills, and a Refugee Forum group at a community centre in Lincoln Green.

The seeds are in, and starting to sprout, let’s hope for good weather this summer so we get a bumper crop.

Posted by: katiejhill | March 25, 2013


GEM is a research project about the stories that go with our food. We are asking people to share different perspectives on growing, cooking, swapping and eating vegetables and herbs. As a way of encouraging people to think about what different plants mean in their lives, we are working with local growing and recycling projects to set up plant growing and food sharing events during spring, summer and autumn 2013.

What can you grow at home that has particular social, religious or spiritual meaning for you (as well as being tasty!)? Researchers working at Back to Front workshops are asking people to record their experiences of growing food in photos and workbooks. Then, at a festival of food in October, we will bring together households who have participated and more for food, art,  storytelling and a celebration of what food means to us.