Our market gardens
We have three urban market gardens, Allens Gardens, Springfield and Clissold. You are welcome to visit our sites when we are working there.
Allens Gardens is located on Bethune Road, N16. We work at Allens Gardens on Mondays between 10am and 4pm. There is a self-guided tour to allow you to find out more about what we are doing while allowing the grower and volunteer work team to carry on working.
Our Springfield site is located in Springfield Park, Clapton E5. We work at Springfield on Tuesdays between 10am and 4pm. There is a self-guided tour to help you find your way round the site.
Our Clissold market garden is located in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington, N16. Our site is open to the public when we are working there on Thursdays from 10am to 4pm.
History of our market gardens
Growing Communities started off with a demonstration growing plot in Clissold Park in 1996. This site is still there and as well as providing a good example of what our organic market gardens are all about, it manages to generate small amounts of produce for Growing Communities' box scheme. We have recently shifted the whole site a several metres to the west in order to accommodate the works which are taking place in Clissold Park as the result of the successful Lottery bid. As a result we have also been able to renovate the old Butterfly tunnel and transform it into a large polytunnel which will allow us to increase salad yields from the site.
Our two main growing sites are at Springfield Park in Upper Clapton and Allens Gardens on Bethune Road, Stoke Newington. In addition to its raised beds, Springfield also has a polytunnel which grows a variety of different salad crops e.g. mizuna, basil and oakleaf and Cos lettuces. All the sites have a pond and wildlife areas which increases the diversity of insects and wildlife on our sites.
Our most recent growing site is in Allens Gardens on Bethune Road, Stoke Newington which we took over in February 2004. Allens Gardens replaced a previous site, further up Bethune Road which we had to leave when the land was sold on for housing. We moved the entire site which included most of the raised beds, the fruit trees, herbs and over seven tonnes of lovingly cultivated organic topsoil 400 metres down the road to Allens Gardens. The Allens Gardens site is now a thriving market garden - where previously the site was home to burnt-out litter bins and a derelict container - now you'll find raised beds full of salad leaves, organic fruit trees lining one wall, a pond, wildlife area, a greenhouse, a shed and our eco building. The building features a fully operational compost toilet and a living Sedum roof. The building is available for hire.