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Abundance London Apple Day 2016

A video about our Apple Day.

Salopian Garden and the work of Cultivate London

Here’s a short video featuring the Salopian Garden. Through most of 2016 I was busy creating this garden from wasteland. Every Thursday a team of offenders from the Community Payback scheme, along with a group of determined volunteers worked to clear brambles and rubbish, and then to build paths, cob oven, raised beds, decked polytunnel, […]

Creating a new Kitchen Garden

Nearly ten years after we started work on our first Kitchen Garden, the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden, we get to create another one. Cultivate London has been given a 25 year lease by the National Trust on a large garden in Isleworth on the London Road. The garden was initially cleared by Cultivate who rigged a […]

Abundance Apple Day 2015

Abundance Apple Day celebrated a bumper apple and pear harvest by pressing nearly two tonnes of fruit that would otherwise have gone to waste.  

Kicking off 2015

The German edition of the Family Kitchen Garden, Mein Selbstversorgergarten, is still at Bestseller Nr 1 in Germany (for gardening books) – number 1,031 in overall books. Amazing! And brilliant. Meanwhile I’ve already given two interviews this year – one to Vegetarian Living Magazine, and one to Jornal Pampulha in Belo Horizonte in Brazil. Tricky […]

Would you like to run an organic farm in London?

In October 2013 I became a Trustee of Cultivate London, a charity that trains unemployed 16-25 year olds in horticultural skills. With a week we were offered the chance to take over a three-acre organic farm near Heathrow, an opportunity that would make us a very serious player in London’s burgeoning urban farming movement. At […]

Groundbreaking Food Gardens

Groundbreaking Food Gardens

Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans that will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden, edited by Niki Jabbour, a Canadian author and host of radio show The Weekend Gardener. She invited us to supply a plan for a kid’s food garden. And we did!

Elderflowers, guerrilla gardening and shed sessions

  Today has been a strange and beautiful gardening day after an unpromising start. My mother’s dog, Boris, whom we are reluctantly housing for ten days while she is on holiday, woke us as usual at 6 AM with his rusty, needy bark, and the sound of slobber hitting the walls as he shook his […]

Guerrilla gardening, Chelsea Fringe and the Magical Orchard

At the end of December, having some spare rhubarb crowns, we tiptoed out to the local library, where I had spotted an empty bed. We planted the crowns and slunk off. A few weeks later they were sprouting, but someone had pulled up two of the plants. So I stuck a little sign up, explaining […]

Apple picking

We’ve picked over a tonne of apples that would have gone to waste – and taught a load of kids about fruit and fun. The BBC came to film us – watch it here.

Cultivated Tastes – kitchen gardens are fresh and fashionable again

A recent piece in the Financial Times’ How to Spend it supplement by Tim Richardson extolled the joys of having a thriving kitchen garden. Based on my previous work at the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden, I offer some nuggets: “For practical advice, Karen Liebreich is a good source of information… ‘If we could do it […]

Chelsea Fringe Edible Herbal High Road

The Edible Herbal High Road for the Chelsea Fringe was launched with great fanfare and a day of herbal workshops on 18th May. 60 mini-herb gardens now grace the streets of Chiswick, along with a herbal  knot garden with living willow structure on Turnham Green, opposite the Town Hall. Lots of good press coverage for […]

Edible Herbal High Road

 Preparing the Edible Herbal High Road (18th May – 9th June) for Abundance London’s Chelsea Fringe entry. Sixty little herb gardens outside shops along Chiswick High Road, Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace, a knot garden on the green, a living willow sculpture in the middle of the knot, a series of workshops on fun stuff […]

Edible High Road for the Chelsea Fringe – Herbal High Road for Chiswick

Sweet pea and lavender

This year’s Edible High Road for the Chelsea Fringe in Chiswick will feature a Herbal High Road. Chiswick High Road, Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace will present a mile-long nectar-rich succession of pots between May 18th and June 9th 2013, organised by Abundance London. And all over London other Edible High Roads are popping up, […]

Clare’s marmalade

Hedge laying course

Completed laid hedge

Hedge laying course with Groundwork in Ravenscourt Park taught by Clive Leeke. By the end of the day we had laid a hazel hedge, even going skilfully round a 90-degree corner. We became skilled with bill hook, bow saw and loppers; we made pleachers, tongues, heels, stakes, binders… Clive says: “Hedgelaying is a centuries old […]

Abundance London

Abundance London is a project set up by Sarah Cruz and Karen Liebreich to harvest the seasonal glut of local fruit (apples, pears, plums, quinces, cherries…) in our area. Each year hundreds of fruit trees go unpicked. We work with local schools and businesses to harvest fruit that would otherwise go to waste.  and preventing […]

Chiswick House Kitchen Garden

The Chiswick House Kitchen Garden, the seventeenth century walled garden we saved a few years ago. After some colossal battles between the local residents and Hounslow council and English Heritage, the garden was saved and a grant awarded to pay for a Kitchen Gardener. A new Kitchen Gardener has just been appointed to this lovely 2-acre enclosure, originally built […]

Bird feeders: squirrels & pigeons 8, cute birds 0

This survey is the result of many years of research and frustration. And of massive expenditure on expensive bird feeders and on the food that goes into them. I started out with some simple feeders from the RSPB. The plastic tubes, and the thin chicken-wire type tubes (£29.99) are demolished by the squirrels within moments. […]

Foraging workshop: Checking out the chickweed in Chiswick

Guest post by Sally-Jayne Wright. Do you love country walks, nature, blackberry picking, eating, cooking and getting a bargain?  I do and that’s why I joined Abundance.  So I was in my element on their foraging walk with Sam Sender on Fruit Day, 21stOctober, in Duke’s Meadows Trust allotments, Chiswick. Our group ranged from a […]

Abundance Fruit Day – apple pressing

We celebrated Apple Day at Dukes Meadows this year, with a special tree to hang decorations, apple pressing, bobbing and peeling, and loads of chutneys, jams and jellies. Once the apple juice was pressed out of the fruit, a huge apple pulp cake was left for the pigs. Or, since there are few pigs in Chiswick, the […]

Apple harvest for juicing at Chiswick Abundance Fruit Day

Crates of apples from a local garden.  

Mapping Fruit Trees – Abundance London Chiswick

Over the past few years we have been mapping  fruit trees in west London. Apples, pears, plums, quince, cherries, mulberries… Note that lots of these are in private gardens – so they are not available for the wider public, nor are the full details provided. These tree owners very generously let local kids come to pick on […]

Edible High Road

Abundance London organized the Edible High Road in Chiswick 19 May – 10 June 2012 to celebrate the first Chelsea Fringe, to coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show. Over 50 of Chiswick’s shops joined together with us at Abundance London to create a river of fruit trees. See the full list below. After the Fringe […]

Edible Playground at Dukes Meadows

Abundance London planted up an Edible Playground up at Dukes Meadows in December 2011. We planted around 100 red, white and black currants, apple trees, alpine strawberries and bulbs.  

Abundance Fruit Day

The Abundance Fruit Day of 1st October 2011 already seems like a long time ago – in those halcyon last hot days of the summer… Our big fruit press worked its way through a huge pile of apples, aided by many passersby, local children and even councillors. Steve Oram from PTES identified lots of mysterious […]

Abundance London school picking

Throughout autumn 2011 Abundance London picked over a tonne and a half of fruit that would have gone to waste, we organised at least seven picking outings per week through September alone for local schools and volunteers. Little teams from Belmont, Cavendish, Grove Park, St Peters, Strand-on-the-Green and William Hogarth Schools trotted off to local […]

Pop-up apple juice pressing on the High Road

The 2011 apple harvest was so fruitful we organised a pop-up juice pressing outside Waterstones. We set up our press, a good-natured crowd gathered. Suddenly a plain clothes policeman – a burly guy with a bomber jacket, jeans, trainers – shows me his card. I almost laugh, it seems so ludicrous. “Very sorry, we’ve had a tip […]

Wassailing and school orchards

Through the winter of 2010-11 we planted mini-orchards in Belmont, Strand-on-the-Green and Wellington Schools. And we organised a wassailing of the new orchard at Chiswick House Kitchen Garden. In December 2010: Abundance London and Belmont School won the Malcolm Gibbins Cup from the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, an award celebrating the partnership between education and […]

Abundance Fruit Day, October 2010

The first Abundance Fruit Day in October 2010 was a culmination of our first full picking season, when schools, grocers, restaurants and local residents came together in celebration. We would like to thank our generous sponsors Sam’s Brasserie, Outsider Tart and the London Borough of Hounslow.