“It is a microcosm of the Big Society that is much talked about. It is about people taking responsibility and taking action. It is great the way it draws volunteers who want to belong and give something to their community. Also wonderful to see the reaction of children to the joy of growing things. It is a beacon of change for how a project can inspire people and their community”.
Martin Ledigo – MetaforePartners LLP
“ Food from the Sky means no food miles. Food is grown ‘upstairs’, as it were, as fresh as you can get. It aims to use locally sourced seeds in the future which is even better. It brings people’s attention to how food is grown, in particular I like the idea of having children’s workshops on growing food. I’ve learned more about growing from seed and potting on. I’ve also learnt about vegetables such as Red Mountain spinach which is beautiful enough to grow in a flower border.
Pat Farrington- Local activist and volunteer
“It’s a premium example of how innovation and creativity can help provide a framework for new ways of doing things in our outdated food system. The environmental impacts of our global food system are extremely well documented and all the major supermarkets are making commitments to address these failings. Food from the sky is a project which showcases some of the innovation that will be needed for supermarkets to make the necessary changes. In addition, the positive impact for the community and the resource it represents for education and well being in the area is huge. It typifies the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that is needed to shake people out of the pessimism they hold in relation to the environmental challenges ahead. It’s actually also fairly important planning precedent for future roof gardens in London. these kinds of projects need to be more widespread. Food from the sky represents the best of what this community can achieve and it should be supported as such.”
Natan Doron- Political and Environmental activist
“I am excited by Food from the Sky’s role as a pioneer, creating a new vision of productive rooftop gardens that are both sustainable (sustainable in the real sense) and beautiful. I love the way the project is open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, and the way it is embracing ideas from both Budgen’s staff and people in the local community. And I am excited by the fact that I know it will be successful! I have learnt the value of holding true to your principles – even when the odds are against you. I see Food from the Sky as an opportunity to channel my enthusiasm for growing food in the city – to showcase what is possible in tiny spaces and to inspire others. I would like to work with Food from the Sky to find new sustainable solutions to growing in a city that we can share widely eg how to source compost with minimal environmental damage, how to maintain fertility, and how to bring wildlife back into the city. Food from the Sky has a wonderful story that can help inspire others to grow food on their rooftop. It has potential to transform London’s skyline, bring living life back to the city, and connect more Londoners with where their food comes from.
Mark Ridsdill Smith @ ’Vertical Veg’ and collaborator
I was very impressed and inspired by your rooftop food growing! In the meantime, I was inspired by the simplicity and the directness of the project. We’ve over-complicated food so terribly that we feel that there must be a huge logistical rigamarole to growing it, harvesting it and getting it to the consumers. But this breaks down all of those barriers. There is no wizard behind the curtain. You don’t need to have an industrial food complex. And the fact that the freshness is measured in hours, rather than days is a revolution all in itself. This is a model that will inspire people in other continents to reconnect with the simple pleasure of fresh, healthy, nutritious food. You are a pioneer!
Jennifer Cockrall-King – Journalist and Food writer from Canada
“I am inspired by the project ‘Food from the Sky’ because it is urban food growing without pesticides (‘alternative’ culture) combined with an existing supermarket (the ‘mainstream’). I can hardly believe that I am so lucky, to have this beautiful vegetable garden on the roof of my local supermarket, to be able to learn about growing crops up there, to care for them, and to harvest them and then bring them down for sale in the supermarket! I’m already involved in it as a market gardener, composter and fence builder and also involved in welcoming new volunteers to the project and helping them settle in.
Mary Hogan – Fund raiser and volunteer
“Grassroots action. Linking business and communities with clean low carbon food. Spot on! This is exactly what we need to revolutionise our food system and transition us to low carbon Britain.”
Lilly Gillian – Science advisor and informer.
I am inspired by the way Food From the Sky has brought food growing up close and personal to the supermarket. In this day and age, we have become separated further and further away from our agricultural heritage. Our vegetables and fruit are often grown in one place and then taken to a depot hundreds of miles away, only to be transported again to a supermarket, sometimes ironically returning to one only a few miles away from where the food was originally grown. Or food has been flown at enormous expense from countries that should be supplying the food needs of their own people. Food has become so ‘sanitised’ and ‘plasticised’ that some British children do not know that vegetables grow in the ground or that fruit grows on trees and bushes! Food from the Sky is a revolutionary project and an inspiration to supermarkets everywhere of how they could change their ways and keep close to the process of food growing. Personally, I have learned that it only takes a few people with the passion and the will to change the status quo for things to be done. I would be happy to support the Food from the Sky events. Wildflowers from River Flowers are being grown on the roof with the food to act as attractants to pollinators and pests, and it would be wonderful if that could continue. It would be great if other supermarkets would take up the challenge and the standard that Food from the Sky has set and grow some of their food and wildflowers on their roofs, along with keeping beehives. Supermarkets should decentralise more by supporting local producers as Budgens does, and thereby reflect their tenor and needs of their neighbourhoods.
Kathryn Lwin- Founder of ‘River of Flowers’ and director of the Archway herbal clinic
“As a local GP and permaculture teacher, i have accompanied the food from the sky since it inception. It has quite simply been an inspiration on so many levels. Starting from nothing but a good idea and some local recycled resources, in a matter of months it transformed a patch of concrete into a blooming food garden, created community, and brought the heart into the middle of a busy supermarket. Its yields have been both environmental and social demonstrated in the wildlife that now flourishes on the roof, the preservation and dissemination of heritage seeds, the bringing the food miles home, the regular volunteers and visitors enabled in food growing and the in-numerous precious exchanges between people in this now green oasis. It has upped the game, inviting other supermarkets to walk their green talk. It has shown how we can reconnect with the natural world in the midst of urban concrete, with no land or significant resources. It has served as a model and inspiration for all of us to start greening the grey. May it long continue to flourish and spread its seeds!”
Dr Nicole Freris – local GP and permaculture teacher