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

Custom Food Lab began their “Locavore Growing Project” on the Harbour Arm in 2018 with volunteers from Touchbase and the Beacon School. The vast inequalities in our society and the precarity of climate crisis mean that food security is an urgent issue. “Food security occurs when all people are able to access enough safe and nutritious food to meet their requirements for a healthy life, in ways the planet can sustain into the future.” Custom Food Lab believes that knowledge of how to grow and produce your own food within your community is the key to assuring food security. The Locavore Growing Project is a community driven initiative to achieve this aim.

The Locavore Growing Project currently consists of a newly established community growing space at Martello Primary Academy on East Cliff and a wider intergenerational community growing project, soon to be popping up in care home gardens around Folkestone and Hythe:

The project will be delivered using a holistic permaculture framework based around forest gardening techniques – an ecological design system which cooperates with nature and creates sustainable ways of living. Over the coming months, staff will receive training to deliver forest and wild beach school sessions in the Locavore Garden and nearby, which can then be offered to local families and school students, to allow children the time and space to develop skills, interest and understanding through a range of activities which provide practical, hands-on experiences in a natural environment. There will also be opportunities for volunteers from outside the school to get involved in gardening groups, free training programmes and other community activities.


Custom Food Lab are currently looking to recruit a team of food growing enthusiasts who are interested in supporting the local community and building up their food growing skills. Experience welcome, but passion essential – training is provided.

Please contact Charlene Legg,  Locavore Community Coordinator to find out more: charlene@customfoodlab.org

The Locavore Growing Project is supported by:



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.