Joe Maiden


We were extremely saddened to hear about the loss of Joe Maiden. Joe had been a great supporter of our project since the beginning and we were honoured to have him come and inspire us in the past and at the start of this growing season. He didn’t have to come and deliver this training but he did and shared not only his vast knowledge and experience, but also his passion and personal memories, drawing everyone into his world.

FG by Joe MaidenMany of our Harehills growers have plants grown by Joe in their gardens from this workshop. We like to think the passion of Joe will in this way spread from neighbour to neighbour. Joe’ front garden design for his kitchen garden won a gold award

We send our sympathies to Betty and family, as well as Tim and the team at Tim and Joe at BBC radio Leeds.

Thank you Joe, we will miss you but the memory of you and what you stood for will live on

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Growing Workshop – Tuesday 4th August 11am – 1pm

Tuesday 4th August 11am – 1pm

FREE family growing workshop at Thackary Medical Museum, 141 Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN

Come along to Thackary Medical Museum tomorrow and join the Back to Front team to have a go at food growing, answer your food growing queries and sign up to the project.

Everyone that signs up to the Back to Front project tomorrow will receive FREE pass to the Thackary Medical Museum

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Harehills Family Fun day Saturday 8th August 12pm-5pm

Celebrating Harehills poster

Come and join Back to to Front at Harehills Family Fun day

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Vertical Vegetable Growing Workshop

Back to Front Growing Mentors Workshop.

On Tuesday 16th June we hosted Mark Ridsdill Smith from Vertical Veg who ran a workshop for registered Back to Front growers and mentors. It was a fantastic event and all the growers that attended learnt a lot.

Have a look at the Vertical Veg website for more information.

Please email to be added to our mailing list for future events and to find out about how to get involved in the Back to Front project



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Back to Front on Gardeners’ Question Time

growing together mosaic

Some people dream of making it big on X Factor. Our fantasies about fame are much less ambitious. All we’ve ever wanted to do is be on Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio 4. Towards the end of 2014, our dream came true (which, sadly, is not something many X Factor contestants get to say).

Gardeners’ Question Time (GQT for ease of weary typing fingers) was first broadcast in 1947 and has a long and honourable history of being the gardeners’ go-to gardening programme. We’ve written before about all the hard work that went in to make the GQT visit to Back to Front a success.

There’s a lovely feature about Back to Front in the middle of programme, featuring interviews with lots of participants and volunteers. It explains why the project was started, how it’s progressing and its impact on local communities. We’re thrilled with it – if we could frame it, we would! – and delighted to share it here. Even if you don’t have a garden, it’s still worth a listen. There are also some great tips on growing food in small spaces and in raised beds.

Back to Front on BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time

So, make yourself a cuppa, snuggle in a comfy chair and enjoy the dulcet tones of Bob Flowerdew and the rest of the GQT team putting the gardening world to rights. Meanwhile, we’ll listen again, whilst wondering what ambition we can fulfil next…
*The mosaic in the picture was created by Hyde Park Source and Cross Green Community Group, our partners on the Fewston Bridge community garden. It now sits proudly at the entrance to the garden, send a lovely message to us all. ‘Growing Together’ – long may it continue.




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Christmas Gift Workshop

B2F christmas gift workshop


Ho, ho, ho!

Join the Back to Front team for a FREE Christmas Gift Workshop at Thackray Medical Museum. Participants will learn about the health benefits of different herbs and there’ll be chance to make gifts like body scrubs and bath teas to take home.

Booking is essential. Date, time and booking details above.

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Back to Front welcomes BBC Gardeners’ Question Time

GQT at fewston bridge

How do you know your gardening project is doing well? We’d say it’s when the most famous gardening show in Britain comes to visit! Back to Front was delighted to host the much-loved BBC Radio 4 programme, Gardeners’ Question Time recently.

As ever with events like this, there was a huge amount of work behind the scenes to create what looked like an effortless evening. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say it didn’t happen overnight… All the effort put in really paid off though.

The production team arrived on the morning to visit the community garden we started building this summer with Cross Green Community Group (CGCG) and Hyde Park Source. Various committee members and some of the volunteers who work on the ground were interviewed for the feature slot that will be included when the programme is aired. Mary from CGCG (in the photo above) explained what the garden means to local people and how it’s used in the evenings when the rest of us are not around. Fascinating stuff but you’ll have to wait until the programme goes out to hear all about it! Continue reading

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Back to Front Hosts BBC Gardeners’ Question Time

GQT poster


Back to Front is delighted to be playing host to the legendary BBC Gardeners’ Question Time programme on 28th October. This is a great coup for our community garden project and we’d love you to join us.

Book your place here.

The GQT panel of experts will be answering your gardening questions, so please write yours on your printed ticket and bring it along with you.

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Harvest Celebration Party


 All photos by Zsolt Sandor / MothershipUK

You can say one thing about Yorkshire folk – they certainly know how to throw a party. On Saturday, we held a Harvest Celebration at the Fewston Bridge community garden we share with Cross Green Community Group and Hyde Park Source. To say it was a roaring success is something of an understatement. Party goes included local residents, volunteers, gardeners, community activists, local councillors and members of various charitable boards and funding bodies.

It probably helped that the food, provided by The Real Junk Food Project, was amazing. They intercept perfectly edible food that supermarkets are going to throw away. This isn’t dumpster-diving – they’ve developed relationships with the big chains to prevent good food going to waste. Despite the fact that you have no idea what you’re going to get when you order the food (because they have no idea until it turns up), their professional chefs make sure that the resulting dishes are delicious. We were delighted they were able to cater for the event, as their message of sustainability and healthy living chimes well with our Growing Together philosophy.

It also helped that we had a fantastic sound system, great tunes and a good deal of lovely bunting. The sun didn’t exactly shine but there was no rain and lots of smiling faces. It was wonderful to showcase the garden; a patch of land that was a derelict dumping ground less than six months ago is now a thriving garden that anyone in the community can be involved with.

Local people have put a lot of hard work into the garden, and continue to do so, and the gardeners and volunteers from the three projects involved love to get their hands dirty pulling the whole thing together. The bridge garden has benefited too from some hard work from corporate volunteers – thank you, the Home Office, StepChange and Macdonalds, among others! If your organization would like a healthy, active away day, let us know. Our corporate volunteers always enjoy themselves so there must be something in it…

As we round off the growing season and start to work on future plans, it was a wonderful treat to celebrate the changes that have taken place over the last few months and thank the people who’ve made it all happen.

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Hello Summertime


One of our littlest volunteers wins the prize for best wellies.

A bit of rain is good for the gardens, right? Which is great news for the community garden we work on with Hyde Park Source and Cross Green Community Group in East Leeds. We’re happy when the heavens open, which they have helpfully done on a regular basis recently. This means there’s plenty of fresh food to be harvested and that’s what we’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks, along with working our way through the endless list of tasks that go into making a garden like this so effective.


Team work – our youngest volunteers work together harvesting potatoes

We’re lucky enough to have plenty of local volunteers who turn up to lend a hand each week. From the little ones here harvesting potatoes, to the hardy souls using raw muscle to clear the wasteland at the back of the site, everyone’s doing their bit. Continue reading

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