Give Peas A Chance

One of the most enjoyable talks I gave in the past 18 months was called Plant & Grow. I was invited to speak with the graduate and fast track community at BT. I remember the talk because the audience were a bright, energetic and enthusiastic bunch. They were interested in my views on networking.

I remember the talk because it was one of the first times I used the power of social media to learn from other people about what might help make this talk really interesting, and at least a little different. As a group we agreed that networking has far more value if you show genuine interest in people, and act like a bee, giving and taking. The networking butterfly flitting from place to place leaving business cards, though pretty, left us….unfulfilled.

I’m interested in gardening too, so with a name like Plant and Grow that’s another reason I can recall this talk so well. I also managed to get in a relevant reference to the late, great Joe Strummer and his powerful short speech titled, Without People You’re Nothing. For me it’s hard not to recall something fondly if it relates to him in some way.

And I keep moving on, and keep planting and growing. As you can see from the picture the garden peas are ready to be picked and eaten, seconds later. We’ve already had raspberries, rocket, and the garlic bulbs are drying as we speak. And there’s so much more to come through the summer, into autumn and beyond.

I recently became aware of a fantastic local community farm initiative, the Sutton Community Farm. 7.5 acres of opportunity just a few hundred yards from where I live. I hope this project is going to be a huge success and act as a beacon for community growing in and around London. As a business owner I think it’s right to help plant and grow in your local community and I sincerely hope that other companies are encouraged to join in and make a difference for the community, with the community, by the community. Engaging, purposeful stuff.

What local sustainability initiatives have caught your eye lately? And what kind of difference do you think a project like this can make?