http://www.soilassociation.org/visitanorganicfarm/visitanorganicfarm/articleid/1344/growing-communities-london
Growing Communities, London

Visit an organic farm

Growing Communities, London

Set in Hackney in inner-city London, Growing Communities is split over three sites, covering 0.5 acres of urban market garden. Volunteers and staff grow fruit, vegetables and leafy salads for the box scheme. An eco-building is located on site, and a farmers market is held every Saturday.

Crops

The gardens grow a variety of crops and specialise in salads. Salads are best grown locally to keep them fresh without the need for chemicals, refrigeration or air-miles. A polytunnel and greenhouse keep production going all year round. Green manures are grown in rotation to feed and improve the soil. Fruit is grown on espaliered trees, and figs and grapes have been recent additions to the greenhouse.

Biodiversity

Other crops are grown to encourage biodiversity and supplement the veg box scheme, including herbs. The pond encourages natural predators such as toads and frogs and a wildlife area provides habitat for other beneficial plants and animals.

Eco-building

The architect-designed wooden eco-building has a sedum roof and composting toilet. It is set in the Allens Gardens part of the site, surrounded by mature trees and with double doors leading out to a decked area next to the pond. It has a small kitchenette, but no heating so recommended for daytime use. It is available for hire and can host 10-15 people comfortably.

Farmers market

Set up by Growing Communities in 2003, the Stoke Newington Farmers' Market takes place at St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7UY. It is open every Saturday, (except for Christmas and New Year) from 10am till 2.30pm. All the produce at the market is organic, biodynamic or wild and is sold by the producers themselves who all come from within 100 miles of Hackney. There is a wide range of produce on sale as well as hot food and organic fair trade coffee.   

Arranging a visit   

Schools and groups are welcomed, as well as individuals. A small charge is made for schools and groups. Individuals can drop in anytime when there are people working on site. Please see the website for details.   

How to get there   

Growing Communities can be found in Allens Gardens on Bethune Road, Stoke Newington.  
By bike: Find your route on the Sustrans website          

Contact details