On your marks, get set, grow – launch of Olympic food growing competition

Environment UK organic food

 As the capital prepares to host the 2012 Games this summer, Londoners are being invited to get their hands on an Olympic-inspired cash giveaway by growing their own food.

The Capital Growth scheme, which aims to create 2,012 gorwing spaces in London by the end of 2012, is launching its biggest food-growing competition ever, Grow for Gold. If you get into the starting blocks now, with support and advice from the Capital Growth gardening experts, you can grow yourself a healthy salad by the time the world’s elite athletes begin their battle for medals.

To inspire people to get their hands dirty, the Grow For Gold competition is offering £100, £200, £400, £800 and £1500 prizes to get five groups across the starting line. Those who register their growing space before Friday 17th February not only stand a chance of winning one of these cash incentives, but could be one of 100 Grow for Gold groups to receive training, vouchers and other support.

The Grow for Gold competition will be judged later this year and prizes will be awarded to the best gardens in five different categories, community engagement, enterprise, education, supporting wildlife and overall winner for most inspiring garden. Grow for Gold is open to anyone who wants to set up a new food growing project.

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, said: ‘ This competition is the perfect opportunity to discover your green fingers and, with the support of our Capital Growth gurus, you can produce your own medal-winning fresh fruit and veg as the starting pistol is fired on this summer's Games.’

Sarah Williams of Capital Growth, said: ‘With almost 1500 Capital Growth spaces and over 40,000 Londoners tending them, now we’re entering the final straight, we’re well on course to meet our target for 2,012 new growing spaces by the end of the year.’

Community food growing spaces supported by Capital Growth are dotted right across the capital. By growing food they have greened and improved local neighbourhoods and brought people in estates, schools and local communities together. Capital Growth is supported by Team London and it is a great way to volunteer your time to improve the local environment.