Garden Enfield is an ambitious market gardening project that aims to make Enfield the garden of London. It intends to combine community growing with large scale food production to create 1,200 jobs and generate income.
The project launched with a food growing project at Forty Hall Farm, with volunteers and Capel Manor students working together to grow and sell vegetables through the Enfield Veg Co.
There followed a series of community projects all over the borough, from housing estates to parks. They provide a great opportunity to learn about growing, to be active and eat healthily, and to meet new people and gain skills.
If your garden isn’t listed here, or you’re interested in setting up a new community growing space, call the Neighbourhood Regeneration team on 020 8379 3885.
Albany Park has recently opened a brand new community café and hub in the old bowls club. This is part of a wider effort by the Friends of the Park and others to engage the community with the park and use the park to support community wellbeing.
The Friends group is working with LIFE (London Initiative for Eco) and is supported by Garden Enfield.
The project included beehives, raised beds for vegetables, polytunnels, an orchard, a chicken coop and an aquaponic system (an eco-friendly way of growing crops using fish to produce plant fertiliser).
The space provides an opportunity for local people in North East Enfield to experience outdoor activities, learn about food growing, improve health and wellbeing and community cohesion.
The first crops were planted in Spring 2015.
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The Friends of Arnos Park group, supported by Garden Enfield and others, established a community garden on an unused site in the park.
They have transformed the site into a thriving growing space, with accessible raised beds to grow fruit and veg, a community orchard and plans for beekeeping. Methods will be organic as far as possible.
The group created the garden to act as a hub for the community, especially those without gardens. Aims include supporting people with mental and physical health problems, educating young people and providing a chance for unemployed people to gain skills through volunteering.
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Broomfield Park already has a thriving community orchard established in 2009, with over 70 fruit trees and regular volunteer support. Volunteers are also active in running the conservatory and the new Palmers Greenery café.
Members of the community have identified an area suitable for fruit and vegetable growing, and plan to establish a growing site. They are keen to open up growing to the community, including schools and vulnerable groups, and will build on the success of the orchard.
Forty Hall Farm is run by Capel Manor College. It’s a working farm that offers placements for students, volunteering and community opportunities, and promotes sustainable food production.
There has been a market garden running on Forty Hall Farm since April 2013, with over three acres dedicated to organic salad and vegetable production.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities at the garden, from harvesting and packing to clearing and planting. Volunteer sessions run on Friday and Tuesday mornings, and offer a great opportunity to learn about organic food growing and get involved in the community.
The majority of produce is sold locally through the veg box scheme, as well as in the local Budgens on Lancaster Road and at the Village Wholefood Shop. You can also buy the vegetables and salad at the Nice Green Café in Forty Hall.
The farm is supported by Garden Enfield and the Greater London Authority.
For more information, visit Forty Hall Farm.
Whatever space you have – windowsill, balcony, or backyard – growing your own vegetables is easier than you think. View our simple how-to guides for any space:
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Schools are getting involved with growing lettuce, beetroot, radishes, peas, beans and more to provide food to families and even sell leftover produce.
As well as growing food outside, ten recycled bottle greenhouses are being funded by the Old Enfield Charitable Trust, with frames provided and schools collecting bottles to complete the greenhouse.
Schools are also being supported by business partners including Waitrose and Graham Construction.
For schools interested in getting involved, there is plenty of support including free training, visits to growing sites and a grow your own network for school staff.
Enfield Young Farmers Club (EYFC) has enabled young people from ages 9-26 to learn about agriculture and healthy eating whilst participating in a variety of physical activities.
Nightingale Academy provided a growing space for this scheme to introduce young people to all elements of market gardening, from planting and harvesting fruit and vegetables to cooking and selling produce.
The club is linked with the school and the local football club in Pymmes Park and affiliated to the National Federation of Young Farmers, providing unique opportunities for the young people involved.