Activity across the Growing Communities Patchwork Farm builds to a climax each week on a Tuesday evening. It’s then that all the salad produce from across the farm patches reaches the ‘mixing and packing station’ of the Old Fire Station Yard on Leswin Road in Hackney. In a flurry of excitement, salad leaves and banter the incoming produce is magically transformed into the award-winning Hackney Salad, ready for distribution through 1000 or so veg boxes and a range of local shops and restaurants. To read more click on the post title or image.
The Prime Minister of the UK claims ‘a country working for everyone’. The enforced closure of Kynaston Gardens – a small patch of community green space rich and verdant with organic fruit and veg – suggests we are a long way from it. ‘A country working for everyone’, my arse! To read more click on the post title or image.
So what’s the connection between Growing Communities and an indoor climbing centre – particularly one set up in the somewhat surreal location of a castle high on a mound in the middle of Hackney? Well, obvious really isn’t it – they both want to produce local organic fruit and veg! To read more click on the post title or image.
Located in the public amenity of Springfield Park, the Springfield Gardens patch of Growing Communities is in Clapton, London E5. It’s another of the incredibly productive ‘patches’ co-ordinated through Growing Communities and maintained by a small dedicated group of professional growers, apprentices and volunteers. To read more click on the post title or image.
Clissold Park in Hackney was the location of an initial pilot which over the ensuing years has been the template for a patchwork farm co-ordinated through the Growing Communities office. These patches now extend right across the borough and produce an incredible yield of salad crops on what otherwise would be derelict disused land. To read more click on the post title or image.
Five years ago, Growing Communities, a not-for-profit organisation based in Hackney, took over a site of concrete and glass which had been producing bedding plants for Dagenham parks and gardens. The site now produces about 5 tonnes of veg a year. To read more click on the post title or image.
Pictures from the summer at Cross Green can’t help but ignite a yearning for warmer days in these currently dank and murky days of February! Oh for some fresh green growth and the beds being so full of produce as to be able to go round the streets of Cross Green offering free fresh and local food. Bring on the sun! To read more click on the post title or image.
A few miles downstream along the Calder Valley from Nick Green’s Incredible Farm is another plot in a remarkable location. The land here is worked by a determined young lady called Ash, and is one of two operations which together constitute Sagar Lane Market Gardens. To read more click on the post title or image.
Wet it certainly was the morning of my visit to Incredible Farm, but out of such unpromising conditions emerged a strange, seemingly enchanting, beauty. Quite in keeping with this magical place up among the Pennine Hills. To read more click on the post title or image.