Urban food growing
Growing Communities has pioneered urban food growing as a key part of our efforts to build a more sustainable food system.
We grow Hackney Salad on our Patchwork Farm, made up of 12 small market gardens in Clissold Park, Springfield Park, Allens Gardens and other patches on estates, church land and private gardens - all in Hackney, North London. We also have Dagenham Farm in East London. You are welcome to visit or volunteer on the farms.
All our growing space is certified by the Soil Association - ours was the first organically certified food-growing land in London. In Hackney, we specialise in salad leaves. In Dagenham, we grow a far greater range of produce.
Why do we grow salad?
Salad production is labour intensive and the end product is nutritious but highly perishable - therefore it makes sense to grow salad as close to where it's consumed as possible. The wide variety of salad leaves we grow enables us to practice crop rotation, just one element of the organic practices we follow on our sites.
In addition, salad leaves are a high value crop, so that gives us a greater chance of making the whole thing work on a financial basis.