In March, we delivered workshops over two days at the Southwark Employability Fair, hosted at Goldsmiths University by the Southwark Education Business Alliance.

We worked with over 150 students from across south London, explaining to them the importance of plants in our everyday life, and demonstrating the range of careers which they influence. We would ask students what they wanted to be, and try to link that career to horticulture…when someone said a stock broker, well, we didn’t know what to say at first. But then their teacher piped up with a great answer – she had been a stock analyst, specialising in coffee trading – she explained how specialist understanding of the crops, weather, growers and local economies gave her the edge in her role trading this commodity that is the second most sought after in the world! We actually had a vial of crude oil on display, to highlight that it too comes originally from plants! On each of the two days, a current course learner or graduate joined Bruno as a teaching assistant, to talk about their experiences and broaden their own horizons. Without them, we could never have made the 25 seed bombs we created with the students, for them to throw in one of their local grot-spots, and wait and watch for a mini-patch of wildflowers to bloom this summer! They got the chance to taste London honey and fermented elder berries, courtesy of specialist chefs Blanch & Shock, and to explore the history and current uses of a range of plants that grow in London – from brambles to stinging nettles and the daffodils contributing to Alzheimer’s research.

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