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Grower Takes On Sheffield
The Steel City's relationship with food is about a whole lot more than producing quality cutlery to eat it with. This summer a gorilla gardener will show that Sheffielders can bring the sights, smells and tastes of real food growing and producing to streets and land all over the city.

Tony Carroll, founder of Garden Gorilla, uses places that you'd never imagine to grow food, just about anywhere he can. Tony said: "Garden Gorilla originally came about because of the long waiting list for allotments. We started growing food in any old land, I can't tell you where though because by nature they are unofficial!

"We're now creating instant allotments free for schools, on vacant land, and in community spaces. We don't talk about doing things, we just do them, and there is obviously a huge market out there for these as we are oversubscribed at the moment with requests, particularly from schools.

"We have now recruited a group of people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and have a network of growers throughout Yorkshire and Humber."

The Garden Gorilla will be holding growing classes at Sheffield's food festival on 4-10 July, where people can learn how to grow their own on everything from roundabouts to back gardens.

Other events at the festival include a city centre farmyard complete with DIY milking parlour, pop up restaurants, and community picnics in the city's parks.

Eddie Andrew, from Our Cow Molly ice cream, broke the world record for making the fastest ice cream at the Sheffield Food Festival 2010, working with Sheffield University. Eddie will be bringing one of his diary cows and two calves into Sheffield city centre as part of the festival.

He said: "We want people to be able to see for themselves how their food is produced. We will be bringing the actual cow 'Molly' into the city centre and doing ice cream making demonstrations with liquid nitrogen. Because of the very small ice crystals it produces, we know it makes exceptional quality ice cream.

"We are also very excited about the section of the festival market dedicated to food grown and produced in Sheffield itself. Everything from honey made in urban hives, to cupcakes and quality meat is produced in the city, and people will be able to see and buy this produce. The term 'local food' has become meaningless now, and with these products people can have real confidence about where they come from."

Chris Shaw, Sheffield City Council's Director of Health Improvement, said: "From cows in the city's busiest shopping area, to food growing in unexpected places, this is a food festival with a difference. We all love a good gourmet dinner, but this year's Sheffield Food Festival is about real people and real food."

The Sheffield Food Festival is expected to attract around 40,000 visitors to the city this summer.

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