a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.

The Locavore Growing project was first established as a kitchen garden on what was once a bare section of the Folkestone Harbour Arm Carpark and wrapped around the building in which Custom Folkestone C.I.C. housed it’s restaurant. It was created to close the loop in understanding of the cycles and interdependencies of food production. It also contained a small Forest Garden, with mud kitchen and bug hotel and a sensory herb area.

We grow plants, fruits and vegetables (either edible or beneficial to attract pollinator insects and other wildlife). We only use natural methods for fertilisation and pest control. We also grow edible native plants found on the Kent Coastline and not often cultivated in gardens.

Since Custom left it’s venue in Folkestone, the garden has been re-sited at Martello Primary School, where it is beginning a new life as a collaborative initiative between Custom Food Lab and the school, benefitting the students and the wider community alike. The garden Locavore Garden) is managed by Locavore Garden Leader Gini Mitchell, who has a strong grounding in permaculture methods and community garden projects. The wider community project is managed by Charlene Legg, Locavore Community Coordinator who is establishing a programme of horticultural interventions in local care homes. We are currently fundraising, for more information please email locavore@customfoodlab.org

The original Locavore Garden was established with funding from the Folkestone Town Grant and maintained with support from Red Eagle Foundation and Kent Community Foundation. The garden was created and maintained with the help of participants from The Beacon School, Beacon Plus, TouchBase, East Kent College and community volunteers. It has also been a setting for childrens’ Garden to Table cookery clubs, where participants harvested and prepared the ingredients for a delicious home grown, home cooked meal.


Gini Mitchell
Gini is the Locavore Garden Leader. Her knowledge of plants and food growing is inspiring and the Locavore Garden demonstrates this in spades. Her mantra “Don’t fight the weeds, eat them!” has guided Custom’s entire approach to food growing and foraging. Gini has previously worked with MENCAP, co-led and designed community garden ‘Pocket Park’ in Hastings – working with children and young people on the autistic spectrum to develop a garden and facilitate nature-based activities and events.

Charlene Legg
Charlene is the Locavore Community Coordinator. Since June 2019 she has worked with Custom, to coordinate community outreach and liaise with local organisations in order to bring volunteers into our kitchen, garden and arts programmes. She is determined to find new, better and more equitable ways to support communities like Folkestone, who disproportionately experience poverty, isolation and mental health problems. Charlene has experience of project management, supporting young people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions, within further education, the charity sector, and the NHS.