From the Ground Up is Kingston's own Award Winning weekly organic veg and fruit food scheme bringing 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, community based food scheme with 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 completely volunteer managed food scheme and maintain a minimal infrastructure by asking our customers to pick up their orders rather than delivering them as other schemes do. If we needed to employ people, purchase and insure 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 1st Kingston Hill Scout Hut on Park Road in North Kingston 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, 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 2pm Wednesday 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 3 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
Second year in a row, From the Ground Up was recognised with 'Commended' in the Food Retailer Category for SW London and Surrey. What makes it even more special is the award is based on votes from the public. First time lucky, second time THRILLED. Thank you for telling us we are on the right track, bringing affordable local organic food to our communities.
Our wonderful, vibrant pool of volunteers is what keeps FGU alive. Being not-for-profit and working on a shoestring often prove difficult to show just how much we appreciate their help. Starting with the 20 September collection all workers who help prepare customer orders on a Saturday morning will receive £7.50 toward a future order of FGU food. Morning leads will receive a whopping £15. On already below market prices, we are practically giving the food away for free. To volunteer please send us an email.
From the Ground Up is sensitive to the fact that Saturday mornings can just be crazy for some people, making collection at the designated hour difficult. We are happy to provide at both our venue sites a late collection service. Those weeks we are in Kingston, you can pick up your order after 1pm at The Cardinal pub on Tudor Drive. In Surbiton, your food will be waiting for you at the YMCA Cafe - just ask a staff member at either place and they will provide you with your box. Please note: PAYMENT MUST BE MADE BY CHEQUE. If this is not possible, please let us know and we can make other arrangements. Now you can have your organics and eat them too!!
From the Ground Up was recognised with 'Commended' in the Food Retailer Category for SW London and Surrey. What makes it even more special is the award is based on votes from the public. Obviously we are doing something right. Thank you for telling us we are on the right track, bringing affordable local organic food to our communities.
FGU is delighted to have been shortlisted for the Kingston Business Excellence Award for the best Green Business. This award is open to all types of businesses that can best demonstrate how its ‘green’ and ‘sustainability’ ethos and practices have positively contributed towards:
The winner will be announced on 24 October.
What are the chances of creating a vegetarian feast with organic ingredients sourced within 10 miles of Kingston, prepared by by ex-chefs from Michelin star 'd Petersham and The River Cafe Restaurants? No Way!!! Impossible!!! ... Guess again...
Come join From the Ground Up and the No 11 Supper Club for a gourmet quality vegetarian meal by the River. Jo, Tito and Kate, all former staff of Michelin star restaurants will be preparing a minimum 3 course gourmet vegetarian meal from ingredients within 10 miles of Kingston...
Mark you diaries for the evening of 13 July 2013 at the Tamesis Sailing Club in Teddington and be prepared for a unique culinary experience. £20 per person for FGU supporters. Please send an email to email@example.com for tickets. Reservations required. Seats are going fast so don't wait too long. Previous events by the No 11 Supper Club have been sell outs.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
More from FGU