Women in Food: Growing in the City

The landscape of farming is fast-changing, more and more food is now being grown in cities. Instrumental behind much of this is the Incredible Edible network, a community growing movement that's now spread from Yorkshire to London, to Bristol and beyond the UK.

As part of our conversations with women who grow food, we spoke to one of the champions of growing food in the city.

Meet Sara Venn, a horticulturalist, food activist and writer. She set up Incredible Edible in her hometown of Bristol in 2014 following on from a career as a nursery woman. Working with people in gardens is her passion, creating confidence and passing on the skills she's learnt over her long and varied career.

What got you started?
I started growing food at the age of 3 when my neighbour taught me how to sow sweet peas and peas. I have grown sweet peas every year since without fail! My mum was my first gardening inspiration-everything that she touched grew and she made some wonderful gardens. Today I am inspired by countless people all across the world fighting in many places to grow food in their own urban environment, but I have to give special mention to Ron Finley, as both a gardening inspiration and a fierce friend.
What's the most unexpected joy of doing what you do?
The most unexpected joy i get is seeing people who turn up to a garden session for the first time a little bit nervous an unsure, blossom in the garden. Whilst Incredible Edible Bristol is about food growing the joy it brings to people and the changes, from subtle to substantial, never fails to humble me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start?
If anyone wants to start growing some food I would always say start small and work your way up to a larger project. Grow some herbs on your windowsill or some pots of tomatoes on a balcony, or a small bed of lettuce perhaps and see how you get on. I would advise finding bloggers who are doing the same and following their online stories, or looking up vlogs on YouTube for help and advice.
Find out more about Incredible Edible Bristol here.
Follow Sara on Twitter for more inspiration.