A grower form Peckham has set up the first community garden that uses the food sharing app, OLIO

OLIO is a food sharing app that connects users who have food they don’t want or need with neighbours living nearby who would like it.

Since OLIO launched in 2016, the app has been awash with leftover fruits and vegetables from people’s own gardens, proving that gardeners are working to prevent food waste whilst sharing fresh produce with other people in their local community who might need it.

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This year, an OLIO user called Ann (far right in picture) launched the first ever OLIO community garden – specifically to grow fruit and veg to share with her local community via the OLIO app.

Nine people are involved in the project currently but Ann has strong hopes this will grow in the near future. The garden in Peckham, South London, is approximately 63ft by 12ft.

She said: “About 2 years ago I moved into my flat and I felt so lucky in that it had a large garden. I dreamt about growing my own fruit and veg but I didn’t have a clue where to start and kept putting it off. Joining OLIO seemed to give me the motivation to start work on my garden and as I had no equipment, I would sit out there pulling up weeds by hand.”

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She added: “Suddenly, early one morning something in my head just clicked. I realised just how lucky I was to have such a wonderful space and felt a duty to share it and use it for growing food that everyone from the OLIO community can eat for free. So, I took a photo of the garden and put a post on OLIO offering it out for others to come join my garden. People loved the opportunity to grow their own food and started to message me asking if they could come and join me – this was genuinely becoming a community garden!”

Food grown in the Garden is shared amongst volunteers and posted to the OLIO app to share. Ann commented: “Through OLIO, I’ve found a passion that I never realised was there: to spread the word about our food waste crisis and to give away as much food as humanly possible for those who need it.”

The garden has been created by donations from other people’s gardens and the group has not needed to buy too much, just two compost bins. The group is also currently fundraising for some equipment that they don’t seem to be able to source ourselves.

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“In the future, I would really like to be able to expand and find new spaces to set up other sharing gardens while continuing to work alongside OLIO to help spread the word about reducing food waste and growing (and sharing!) your own. I also hope others will get motivated to do the same.”

To find out more about OLIO, go to: https://olioex.com

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Steve Ott
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