Foodival is Transition Town Tooting's annual food festival, celebrating everything that's good about locally grown food. Foodival aims to show how it's possible to grow local, eat local, be sustainable and have fun while doing it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Invitation and generosity: locally-grown vegetables and fruit welcome for the Tooting Foodival!

Just like 'which came first, the hen or the egg?' to create the fresh local Big Feast on Saturday 15th and for dishes created by Top Tooting Cook competitors we'll need great fresh local ingredients.

We invite everyone to donate what you have grown locally!
In the Tooting Community Garden we're growing for the Foodival, other local gardens are growing to donate their produce, and many individuals always bring in their proudly-grown crops to share with us all - maybe simply a tomato or two grown on a balcony by a brand-new city gardener. It's about the gesture and the sharing more than about volume (though we did feed 500 people last year!)

There's such a diversity of fresh produce donated. So beautiful, so tasty, so surprising.

It's all about generosity and gifting so that everyone can enjoy celebrating local growing, cooking and eating on Saturday 15th Sept at the Foodival!

Here are some of the local people who donated in 2017. Also surprising - and involved and having fun.

All welcome to join in and donate anything you have grown locally! 
You can donate at Mushkil Aasaan, 220-222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW on: 
> Friday evening 14th Sept from 5:30 to 8:00pm
> Saturday 15th after 11:00 am, when the Foodival kicks off!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Top Tooting Cook 2018 - all welcome to enter!

Top Tooting Cook, the Tooting Foodival's fun cooking competition is ably co-ordinated by 'firm but fair' Belinda. Using locally-grown fruit and vegetables which you can collect from us on 14th September, you make your dish overnight and then bring it to the competition at the Foodival on Saturday 15th. See the details of how to enter by clicking on Top Tooting Cook above this post.

In 2017 we had a record-breaking number of entries: do join in this year!
This is Imira, who won the overall award of Top Tooting Cook 2017 with her squash compote! It's a Brazilian recipe.


All 2017 competition dishes are in this photo - crying out to be tasted (some people had to be held back...) 
There was a wonderful variation of international cultures, ingredients, skills and why-not-have-a-go represented. So - how about entering the Top Tooting Cook competition this year? All welcome!

Here are some local pickles at a secret location - maybe you’ll see them again on Saturday September 15th at the Foodival!

tootingfoodival's profile picture

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Foodival Poster 2018

This year's Tooting Foodival poster celebrates the three activities for which Tooting's long running sustainable food festival is famous - growing, cooking and eating!  If you are a connaisseur of any of these activities we urge you to get involved in this year's festival either as a grower donating some home grown produce, a cook helping to produce tasty locally sourced meals for the masses, entering the Top Tooting Cook Competition, or as a taster of these wonderful dishes on the day.  Perhaps you could be all three?!!
If you interested in finding out more about Tooting Foodival 2018 EMAIL US or check out the links below:

Download poster here
Latest Press Release here
Stalls Application From here

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Tooting Foodival 2018

South London's premier sustainable food festival will run this year on Saturday 15th September.  Yes Tooting Foodival will be back in the late summer for its 11th running to celebrate all that's good about locally grown produce.
You could be immortalised like these growers from 2017!

Expect the usual delights of a communal feast made from low food mile food, cooking competitions, crafting, growing, composting, activities for kids and of course music!

The Foodival team are now meeting regularly to plan this year's event.  It's fun and social and you can get involved in any way.  We are always open to including new ideas so if you fancy joining in, in any capacity, just EMAIL US to find out how!

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Shazifim yerakim, gojeh sabz, jarareng, erik, janarek...." Tooting Community Garden's plums

Did you try the sour plums at the Foodival?

'These sour plums are known as shazifim yerakim in Israel, gojeh sabz in Iran, jarareng in Lebanon, erik in Turkey, and janarek in Jordan.'

These plums were saved after pruning the Greengage trees that grow in the tooting community garden as part of a pruning workshop. They were not ripe for eating but nothing goes to waste so Charles experimented with pickling the plums. They were certainly delightful at the Foodival. Something Unique.

The pruning workshop was delivered by Ryan O'Kane from The Orchard Project and we were joined by people from other gardens that could benefit from advice on pruning fruit trees.

Once we knew which trees were remaining then we needed to prune them  to provide space for air and better light to help them be healthy trees. Ideally this would be a vase shape but our particular trees are grown from 'suckers' - that is a  self propagating system connected to the main tree.

While we all wanted to get going with the variety of exciting tools they had brought along it was important that first we decided what the aims of the pruning were. The trees have been allowed to grow a bit wild which makes them great as a habitat but the pruning would help to promote tree health and improved crop. The aims are not complementary and that made it difficult in the beginning to decide on a strategy.

This is often something that we can struggle with any of our gardening aims. Balancing the needs of nature and the needs of humans are not always compatible and these decisions are hard. Particularly as a group who may have divergent views, or feel they do not know enough to choose a course of action. In the end we were able to agree a compromise with half reserved for habitat with some pruning for health and the other half would be cut back quite dramatically to get to a spacing that would promote fewer but stronger and more productive trees.

There was also time to look at the Victoria plum and identify branches that we could prune to promote healthy and strong growth for the tree.

While there were many people helping the plums are close together and it wasn't practical to prune more than two trees in the area at a time. So there is still more work to do but we now have a strategy that should be maintainable in the future.

It was a fantastic learning experience and if you have fruit trees in your own garden then check out for more advice and opportunities for you to learn about caring for your fruit trees.

Maybe you're inspired to start a new orchard? This year our friend Martin Cobley has helped establish the first Community Orchard in Wandsworth Borough. Congratulations! If you want to visit, contact him at

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Foodival 2017 Growers

Thank you so much to all the fantastic donors who make the Tooting Foodival happen.  Here they are in their "I Grew This" photos and this is what they grew and donated:

Jon - chives, beetroot & rhubarb
Kath - runner beans and potatoes
Debbie - raspberries, blackberries, courgettes, sweet corn, pears, cucumelons, onions, cavolo nero & pumpkin
Richard - carrots, chives, rosemary, potatoes & tomatoes
Indrajit - grapes
Heide - apples, pears and bay leaves
David - runner beans, tomatoes & kohl rabi
Mal - tomatoes
Jane - apples & leeks
Abundance Southfields - apples (thank you Richard)
Barbara - beans & lettuce
Tamworth Allotments - rocket & chard
Maggie - nasturtiums & mint
Judy - pears
Kelly - apples, chillis, tomatoes, carrots, sage, rosemary, cabbage, lemon balm, beans kale & chives
Chris - pumpkin & 2lbs of safari beans
Esther - tomatoes
Eleanor - blackberries & pears
Helen - rosemary & marrow
Tooting Community Garden - 25kg of potatoes, curly kale, cavolo ner, swiss chard, coriander, fennel, callaloo, young Jerusalem artichoke, pattypan squash, rosemary & sage, Paradise Co-op - beans, tomato, bay leaves & herbs
Doddington & Rollo Community Garden - coriander, rosemary & sage
SHARE Community Garden - cabbages & a fantastic plant display

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Foodival 2017: "Thank You" to Tooting's community of volunteers

The 10th Tooting Foodival was only possible because of 
many volunteers' help and donations.
Thank you all!
Click here to see the details. Well over forty people helped on the day, plus many in preparation and in the long tail of follow up.
Each of these people and organisations made the Foodival happen, and while there's no priority order we want to highlight Naseem Aboobaker who has demonstrated such community spirit by offering us the hall at Mushkil Aasaan for free at so many Foodivals past.
It's always a risk to make a list and get it 100% correct - please let us know if we've left you out.

Here she is at the 2010 Foodival

The Foodival is nothing without an audience! We lost count at around 500 people - first-timers and some very loyal regulars.
Here is one young girl we know and want to celebrate - same road, maybe the same chair.
2010 to 2017! 

And at the 2017 Foodival

Get in touch with us if you fancy being part of TTT's 2018 Tooting Foodival co-ordination group.
We promise you fun, space to try out creative ideas, experience of live project management and lots of community support!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Top Tooting Cook 2017: the winners!

Top Tooting Cook, the Foodival's fun competition was ably co-ordinated by 'firm but fair' Belinda. We had a record-breaking number of entries.
Here are the dishes - photographed during the judging, so some dishes have begun to be sampled. These are dishes crying out to be tasted (some people had to be held back...):

There's a wonderful variation of international cultures, colours, local ingredients, skills and why-not-have-a-go represented. How would you choose the different class winners and the overall Top Tooting Cook?

Our three judges worked up and down the long tables in Mushkil Aasaan with their clipboards. They recorded their own views with 25% of marks awarded to each of four criteria:
  • How well does the dish fit the category it was entered for?
  • Taste?
  • Look?
  • How local to Tooting are the dish ingredients?
The judges conferred, debated and added up their marks.

Tension mounted in the hall as we looked from dish to dish and back at the judges' impassive faces. Who would win? When could we eat all the dishes?

The overall award of Top Tooting Cook went to...Imira for her Squash Compote!


Here's the full list of other winners per competition category:

Savoury dish: 
Muna Mohammed, Ethiopian Mixed Vegetarian Dish & Injera

Savoury dish Runner Up: 
Lila Benderdouch, Tortilla de Patatas

Debbie Morey, Raspberry Jam

Under 16: 
Maryam Uddin, Flower Fruit Cake Crumble

Pudding / Apples and Pears: 
Debbie Morey, Apple Cake 

Organizers' Prize: 
Charles Whitehead, Salty Pickled Tooting Plums 

Click here to see the full TTC report.                                                                
Thank you, judges: Saira, Brian and Rick!
Thank you, local enterprises and organisations who donated prizes!
Thank you, entrants, local vegetable and fruit donors and other contributors!
We'll share the recipes as soon as we can, to add to our community low food-mile localicious cookbook. 

The results are announced...

More Tooting Foodival blog posts to come very soon: the famous 'I Grew This' poster, the list of produce donors, all the Thank Yous and a slide show of photos and videos of the day.