You are here:

Cultivate Food Growing Festival Returns for 2016

Waltham Forest Council is pleased to announce that its annual ‘Cultivate’ food growing festival will begin on Saturday 5 March 2016.

Now in its third year, Cultivate is being expanded to incorporate the growing season by beginning in March and culminating with a series of events in September. This will allow the opportunity to engage with new and current growers throughout the year and fully showcase the excellent efforts of the many growers and inspirational organisations that are helping Waltham Forest to realise its ambition of become the Food Growing Garden of London.

The dates for Cultivate 2016 are 5 March to 13 March and 3 September to 11 September. Futher information on the programme is available at

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment Cllr Clyde Loakes said: "Cultivate 2016 will begin in March and see the continuation of the hugely popular Big Compost Giveaway which last year saw us give away a mind boggling 122 tonnes of free compost to our residents compared to 30 tonnes the previous year!

“We've expanded our popular Gardener’s Q&A event this year with a series of engaging talks from a variety of speakers and will also continue the Grow Your Own Challenge which we introduced last year - where residents are given seeds to help them get growing and then show off the fruits of their labour in our new Autumn produce show in September."

Festival highlights include a networking event titled ‘Forming a Food Partnership’ at Leytonstone Library (Church Lane, E11 1HG) on Wednesday 9 March from 4-7pm. This event will bring together local food organisations and groups, to help shape Waltham Forest’s food growing strategy and Local Food Partnership.

For novice and experienced growers there will be a Cultivate Gardeners Q&A on Sunday 13 March from 2.30-5pm at Leytonstone Library. This event will cover everything from planting summer crops to seeing off slugs.

Free compost will also be available to pick up from locations across the borough from 5 to 13 March. Residents can just bring along a shovel help themselves. Locations are –

  • Church Lane car park, Leytonstone (E11 1HE)

  • Langthorne Park car park, Birch Grove, Leytonstone (E11 4YG)

  • South Grove car park, South Grove, Walthamstow (E17 7NX)

  • John Beanse Waste and Recycling Education Centre Car Park, Pimp Hall Nature Reserve, 48 Kings Road, Chingford E4 7HR

For full programme information visit

Following the success of raised food growing beds in Oliver Road and Ive Farm Pocket Park, Councillor Loakes has announced the creation of more new growing sites in the south of the borough, with 12 new food growing beds in Swan Path in Leyton and new food growing beds on four of the Council's housing estates in Leytonstone.

"These new sites will allow us to meet the demand for food growing in the south of the borough. However we will keep working to identify and develop new food growing opportunities across the borough”, add Cllr Loakes.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.