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It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa

It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa
It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa
It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa
It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa
It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa
It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa
It always seems impossible until it’s done: 10,000 Gardens in Africa

Carlo Petrini was in London for the 10,000 Gardens in Africa fundraising event hosted by Borough Market to remind us that “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.

Since 2010 Slow Food has been creating a network of gardens to save Africa’s extraordinary biodiversity. Our dream: creating 10,000 gardens in African schools and villages with the aim of guaranteeing Good, Clean and Fair food for communities and making them aware of the value of their lands. We also aim to raise both citizens’ and politicians’ awareness of important political campaigns (GMOs, land grabbing, the devastating impact of mono-cultures, sustainable fishing), by training a network of leaders who can serve as protagonists for change and the continent’s future. An ambitious goal that Slow Food and its Foundation are undertaking with the help of the network of Terra Madre communities in Africa, and with a major fundraising campaign across the rest of the world.

That’s why Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food Movement, was in London on the 4th of December to highlight the 10,000 Gardens in Africa programme. He gave an inspiring speech along with John Kariuki Mwangi, Themba Chauke, Eunice Njoroge as well as Bill Emmott and Shane Holland, Chair of Slow Food London. Arriving from all parts of the world they convened at Borough Market to ask to the UK to get involved and help to make our dream a reality. Towards the end of 2013 and the start of 2014 the original target of 1,000 food gardens was reached. The results of the work that took place in 2014 are very promising: over 600 new gardens have been started (which brings the total to more than 1,600), with 33 countries now involved in the project. The project has also gained many new supporters throughout the year, including Steve McCurry, the world famous photographer who took shots of some of the African Slow Food producers for Earth Defenders, Lavazza’s 2015 calendar.

The speeches were preceded by a delicious buffet of Good, Clean and Fair food. We would like extend our gratitude to all of the producers who helped us to make the event a great success: Androuet LondonAston’s Organic BakeryBianca e MoraBorough KitchenBreaky Bottom VineyardCharcutier Ltd.Chegworth ValleyEast Avenue BakehouseHouse of SverreItalian Craft Beers, Mara SeaweedOliveology, Organico Foods, Plan Zheroes, Rare Tea Company, Sillfield Farm, South Thames College, Vini Italiani. And we would like to extend our thank you’s to Borough Market for kindly hosting the event.

John Kariuki Mwangi, Themba Chauke, Eunice Njoroge described what the African farming reality looks like and what precious 10,000 Gardens is for the poor African population. They explained how Slow Food gardens represent a sustainable source of food for communities without harming African biodiversity, a real hopeful alternative facing the threat of land grabbing and monoculture. Carlo Petrini delivered a passionate speech full of future promise to warm the hearts of around 100 chilly Slow foodies gathered in the Reception Hall of Borough Market. He reminded us that we will not save Africa with charity but by supporting communities in their right to grow their own food and ownership of their own land. There is still a lot of work to do and everyone’s collaboration is fundamental. Gardens in Africa is already well underway, helping thousands of people; but reaching our goal of 10,000 gardens cannot be achieved without you. Even a small donation can bring great results: Adopt a food garden!

Check out our Facebook page to find beautiful photos from the event. 

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