From the Ground Up is Kingston's own weekly organic veg and fruit food scheme that brings local affordable fresh organic food to the Royal Borough of Kingston. Dissatisfied with the high cost and poor availability of organic food, members of Transition Town Kingston took action and started a not-for-profit food scheme based on these principles:
Why our prices are so affordable...From the Ground Up offers exceptional prices to you because we don't hire staff - we are a volunteer managed food scheme - and maintain a minimal infrastructure by asking our customers to pick up their orders rather than deliver them. If we needed to employ people, rent vans, buy petrol etc prices would climb, climb, climb. Therefore we rely on the generosity of our supporters to help us with packing customer orders and to pick up their food at one of our two venues: The Kingston Environment Centre near the Kingston Library and the Surbiton YMCA.
And...you do not need to buy a box. In the FGU ONLINE SHOP you can choose as many or few items from a wide selection of certified organic / preservative free fruit and veg, organic breads, locally produced artisan bread, honey and preserves - all natural. There is no minimum in amount of money spent or time commitment. We do ask for your assistance now and then to help us stay alive...
Interested? When you register in the FGU ONLINE SHOP, you will receive an email on Monday's late afternoon (unless it is a bank holiday) announcing the opening of the Shop. You have until 10am Thursday morning to make your selection before the Shop closes. The only thing you will need to do is pick up your food at the designated location - couldn't be simpler. For more details on the ordering process and venue location just click here.
Want to help bring affordable organic food to our communities? From the Ground Up has flourished over the last 2 years due to the generosity of our supporters. But we still need more volunteers to keep us going...we welcome all sorts of assistance...please read here for more details on how you can assist From the Ground Up and the benefits you would receive.
Photos courtesy of Tony May & Chris Stockbridge
Beginning 26 January 2013 From the Ground Up will be in its new home on Park Road at the 1st Kingston Hill Scout Hall. Collection is still between 11am - 12 noon. There is ample street parking and it is close to public transport. Please drop by or better lend a hand and help us to continue supplying Central Kingston with affordable, quality organic food. Directions to Park Road are here
We are excited to announce the introduction of hand made, certified organic breads from Aston's Organic Bakery in the FGU shop. Aston's are a family run business that have been open since 1985 and are located on Waterloo Road, London. What we particularly love about Aston's are their 'heritage breads' made with flour derived from cereal varieties that were used to make traditional breads from the late medieval period (13th cent) until the late 19th century These older types of grain were painstakingly collected and multiplied by archeologist John Letts, founder of Heritage Harvest Ltd. over a period of 15 years on farms in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The medieval style cereals were created from small samples obtained from gene banks and traditional farmers - the 'heritage white' wheat flour for example is milled from a blend of over 150 older UK varieties. Why bother? Heritage crops are genetically diverse and therefore better suited to adapting to local growing conditions, climate change and organic farming systems. And they have shown to be better tolerated by people with wheat and gluten sensitivities.
Aston's Organic Bakery have been named as one of Rick Stein's Food Heroes due to their passion for organic food, commitment to preserving heritage varieties and their efforts to making their business as ethically sound as possible: no artificial additives; minimal use of fossil fuels in their production processes; and recycled packaging.
FGU is offering wheat free, medieval seed, rye sourdough breads from Aston in addition to our excellent selection from our local Artisan Bakehouse - Ruben's.
From the Ground Up is delighted to announce that starting with the 15th September collection it will be serving its customers from the Surbiton YMCA located at 49 Victoria Road, at the corner near Brighton Road. The YMCA provides FGU an excellent environment in which to continue our service of providing organic food to the Surbiton Community. The new collection hour to pick up your order will be from 11:30 - 12:30. You are also entitled to 2 hours free parking in the car park above the adjoining Sainsburys. From the Ground Up will be at this venue bi-weekly. Alternate Saturdays will find FGU at the Kingston Environment Centre in Central Kingston. This venue replaces our previous home at The Lamb Pub.
Nesteled among the industrial estates in Feltham are approximately 3 acres of vegetation, home to the Hounslow Community Farming Association (HCFA). HCFA is striving to reintroduce horticulture as a way of life in the Hounslow community by providing employment and education opportunities in farming on vacant or under-utilised land. To make it financially sustainable, HCFA sells at farmers markets, to retail outlets and has its own small community box scheme. Currently it is undergoing the conversion process and is following Soil Association guidelines. As such its produce cannot be declared ‘organic’ until certification is achieved. However, FGU has confidence that their practices are sustainable and in accordance with organic standards.
We are happy to announce that on 26 May, FGU will be supporting HCFA by selling its lush rhubarb in the Shop. Freshly harvested on the day we pick it up, it is another tick in the box for supporting local food growing initiatives. FGU will be selling more from HCFA as the produce becomes available.
Starting 12 May, FGU is delighted to offer in its Shop luscious salads and herbs from Cultivate London - a charity and social enterprise that trains unemployed youth in horticulture on two abandoned lots in Ealing and Hounslow.
Cultivate London has three main objectives:
1) To generate training opportunities and jobs for unemployed young people aged 16-25 in practical horticulture
2) To convert derelict and vacant land across London into productive food growing space
3) To increase the amount of local and organically grown produce consumed by Londoners
We are delighted to support Cultivate London. Please look for salad and herbs labeled with Cultivate London. The quality is superior and we are proud to support such a great initiative.
Ed Davey, visited FGU on 5 May, interested in seeing Kingston's only community veg box scheme in action. He was impressed. What was planned as an hour's visit extended to close to 90 minutes (and he even missed getting a parking ticket). Ed met the FGU team and listened to FGU's ideas for branching out to other communities within the RBK. He even had time for a radio interview with Kingston's Green Radio station 87.9FM. Maybe Ed and family will register and shop with FGU!!!
We understand that people are busy on Saturdays and cannot always commit to as many helping sessions as they would like. We hear you and have changed the guidelines of the From the Ground Up (FGU) Loyalty Scheme to accommodate more people. Effective 5 May, the FGU loyalty scheme will look like this...
1) For each session you have offered your time either in assisting with the preparation of customer orders (3 - 3.5 hours on a Saturday morning) or helped promote FGU at an event, you will receive £2 off your next FGU food order. For most that is a healthy 12 -15% discount. For some, it is a 25 - 30% discount!
2) If you want to step up to the role of Morning Lead (see Get Involved section) you will earn £4 off your next food order...WOW!!
If you are inspired, which we hope, we now have an online sign up rota that should take you no longer than a few minutes to use. The directions for use in the Get Involved section.
From the Ground Up will be two on the 10th of March. Why not kick up our heels and help us celebrate during our Spring / Birthday fete on Thursday evening, 22 March. Come collect your orders at the Kingston Environment Center between 7:30 and 9pm and meet the FGU team as well as John and Mike who supply our natural honey and Igor of Ruben's Bakehouse. To order, please visit our online shop
From the Ground Up will be taking orders on the web through its new online shop. You will be able to register straightaway - just click here to visit the shop and go to 'Register for Account'. If you already registered, then you can just go directly to the shop. If you are having a problem, please send us an email at email@example.com.
If you are a group of people who want to provide affordable organic food to your community of friends, families and / or associates, why not become a hub of From the Ground Up. We can provide the behind the scenes work, you just need to provide the space for packing and collecting orders and people to assist. If you are interested please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
More from FGU
Saturday, 4 May 2013:
FGU Shop Opens: Monday 29 April
FGU Shop Closes: Thursday 2 May @10am
Orders collected on Saturday 4 May from 11:30 am to 12:30pm at The Surbiton YMCA, Victoria Road, Surbiton
Saturday, 11 May 2013:
FGU Shop Opens: Tuesday 7 May
FGU Shop Closes: Thursday 9 May @10am
Orders collected on Saturday 11 May from 11:00 to 12:00 pm at Park Road Scout Hall on 293 Park Road, Kingston
Saturday, 18 May 2013:
FGU Shop Opens: Tuesday 14 May
FGU Shop Closes: Thursday 16 May @10am
Orders collected on Saturday 18 May from 11:30 to 12:30 pm at The Surbiton YMCA, Victoria Road, Surbiton
Saturday, 25 May 2013:
FGU Shop Opens: Tuesday 28 May
FGU Shop Closes: Thursday 30 May @10am
Orders collected on Saturday 28 May from 11:00 to 12:00 pm at Park Road Scout Hall on Park Road, Kingston