Tasty anniversary for Food from the Sky

World first Crouch End project celebrates its first birthday

FROM an idea on an empty Crouch End roof to a world-first and pioneering project – it’s been a successful first year for the Food From the Sky project.

On Saturday members of the project celebrated its first anniversary, metres above the Crouch End Broadway among the food they have been producing for the last six months.

The project – run by Azul-Valerie Thome and Andrew Thornton – utilises the previously unused flat roof of Budgens supermarket as a veritable food factory, with volunteers producing a whole range of veggies, fruits, herbs and flowers, which are then sold eight metres below in the shop every Friday.

The project has already been a great success – currently supplying everything from curly kale to herbs to Crouch End foodies – and is looking to expand over the next year by running workshops with residents and three local schools, as well as transferring the idea to other shops.

Ms Thome said: “Initially the party was to say thank you to all the volunteers as we have such a long list of them, but then we realise it was a year since we took the first photo of an empty roof, and so we thought, ‘We have to mark this’, as it has been quite a year.

“It has been absolutely fantastic – a real pioneer project with a lot of learning and a lot of changes. But it’s been deeply inspiring and very hopeful, that we can actually grow food on our roof.

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“What we are really aiming for as well as growing food and offering workshops is to create a template – this is very important – for other supermarkets who have a flat roof.

“It’s about meeting the challenges of our time and food security in a sustainable and joyful and participatory way.”

The food has been sold in Budgens on the Broadway since July this year and shop owner Mr Thornton said he was thrilled to be involved with the project.

“I think it’s fantastic, so many people have been inspired – visitors, volunteers, people who buy the produce in store and now schools,” he said.

“It was fantastic to see the number of people here on Saturday and to get such positive feedback, it was a great celebration.

“It was the first anniversary of us having the idea, but the roof garden has only been in place for six months – it’s really quite something how well developed it is.”

Anyone interested in becoming involved with the Food from the Sky project, should visit www.foodfromthesky.org.uk.