Growing Food and Community in a London Garden

Growing Food and Community in a London Garden | Atmos

Photographer Buster Grey-Jung documents his experience at OmVed Gardens, capturing the space and its seed-saving efforts in full color.

In a city that often moves too quickly, north London’s OmVed Gardens is an oasis of calm.  Founded as an urban rewilding project in 2017, the gardens have become a research center for ecology, food, seed saving, and creativity, challenging us to reconsider our role in nature and how we engage with it.

Today, OmVed Gardens is dedicated to exploring regenerative ways of growing and consuming food that is resilient for the future, while creating a biodiverse habitat for humans and wildlife to thrive in. OmVed’s kitchen garden, for instance, employs a variety of organic growing techniques, such as intercropping and companion planting, to get the best produce that also nurtures soil health. The Seed Saving Network, OmVed’s name for its community of growers, helps those interested in growing seeds from local plant varieties that are adapting well to the ever-changing climate. And the garden’s renovated glasshouse has become home to forward-thinking events, workshops, and a kitchen that specializes in food preservation.

I’ve been involved with OmVed in various capacities over the last three years—initially as a volunteer in the garden, and later by supporting efforts to create regenerative and low-waste ferments and preserves from the food we grow. It has been inspiring to work with a group of people who have a wealth of knowledge in environmental practices and, in turn, recognize that our individual engagement with the land can have a valuable impact on its ecosystems.

This series was inspired by experiences at OmVed, learning through community about the medicinal qualities of plants, the importance of biodiversity, and the health benefits of fermented foods, all of which have allowed for a more inquisitive and reciprocal relationship with the natural world.

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