From a single tomato plant in a fire bucket, Simon Jakeman transformed a rooftop terrace atop of Surbiton Fire Station into a flourishing garden, providing locally sourced food for the station’s mess and a habitat for local wildlife. Consequently Simon became London Fire Brigade’s Green Champion of the year, visiting every single watch across London’s 103 fire stations and inspiring them to start similar projects of their own. Separately Simon is a proud plot holder himself - in his interview with SHEDx he discusses early memories of his grandfather’s gardening exploits, the challenges of clearing an overgrown allotment plot, and his green championing across the fire service.
“Where it started for me was my grandad having an allotment - his whole garden was able to grow food. I still remember the smell of his greenhouse. I still love watering tomatoes because it reminds me of my grandad’s garden.”
London Fire Brigade’s ‘Super Green Champion’ 2015 chats to Grow for Good's Oral History volunteer, Keith McMahon