vegbox growing the community

Vegbox: growing the community

Tom Steele runs the community-led vegetable deliver scheme, connecting locals across Camden and beyond with organic produce from small-scale farms near London

Sometimes the big picture can feel pretty overwhelming. With Vegbox, we wanted to create our own little bit of the food system that would be ecologically sustainable, socially just, and long lasting. A small, good thing. We deliver organic veg and fruit to our community every week. We aim to source certified organic or naturally grown produce from small-scale farms as close to London as possible.

In the face of massive challenges like climate change and the destruction of global biodiversity, we can find hope in simple acts or rebellion, like gardening and enjoying good, sustainable food. There is something profound and healing about engaging with the soil. As Vandana Shiva says: “We are made of the earth. We are made of soil.”

VegBox community in Camden

I really love wild strawberries. In our last flat, we had a back garden and we grew lots of wild strawberries. They are so tiny and delicious, with all the flavour of a conventional strawberry packed into a little miniature version. They ripen in London in May and June. We’d potter around in the back garden with our young daughter looking through the strawberry plants for a ripe berry. Usually, one or two would be ready each day, a little treat to enjoy fresh from the plant. You can’t keep them or sell them, they dry up within a few hours.

I always think that it’s important to remember that we are not separate from nature. Everything human , from our bodies to our cities, is part of nature too. When we connect with nature, we are reconnecting with ourselves.

We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary this September. I hope that Kentish Town Vegbox, or something like it, is still around in another ten years, and in a hundred years, why not?! Veg box schemes are actually a great way of getting fresh produce into cities. Our farms only harvest what we need each week, which minimises food waste. The other thing about veg box schemes is that they help to reorient the food system away from the damaging focus on consumer choice and towards living within the limits of what is seasonally and locally available.

VegBox growing community and food

More info and to sign up to Vegbox here

Find this article in our latest print magazine: Camdenist Presents: GROW, out now across the borough and Central London.

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