We aim to give communities a space they can call their own, whether that is to come and relax in or grow some of their own vegetables to take home or share with other volunteers and friends. A strong community is the heart of any town or city and our open garden serves to provide a place for people to enjoy with their neighbours, who they may not have met otherwise.
The Living Lab project demonstrates an innovative, closed-loop food-waste-energy system to provide new opportunities for local participation, education and training. We grow a wide range of foods; harvest produce to create nutritious meals in our community café; digest food waste to create renewable biogas and liquid fertilizer; use the fertilizer to enhance plant growth; and use biogas for cooking and heating indoor growing space in winter. We aim to develop the project into an environmental educational facility and a sustainable social enterprise. With volunteers, we will create additional raised beds and low-cost vertical hydroponic systems. We are grateful to The Postcode Lottery and Greggs Foundation for funding to develop a bespoke anaerobic digestion system, irrigation system and gas applications.
Our cafe is open Monday – Friday, 10am – 3pm. Recipes include the organic vegetables grown in the garden harvested daily. We also have a range of snacks and homemade cakes. We cater for parties and office functions, phone for further details.
We provide gardening and healthy eating sessions every Friday for retired people, anyone is welcome. Gardening provides not only exercise but enjoyment and fresh food. The sessions started as referrals from the GP to exercise and get involved in social activity. The sessions start with one and a half hours gardening, then we share a lunch that always includes some of the harvested vegetables and special dishes prepared at home.
The group not only benefits from the physical exercise but they are also improving their diet. We talk about the principles of healthy eating and the benefits, we also share cooking tips and recipes. The majority of the people on the group live on their own and they find it difficult to find the motivation to cook. They all agree that since attending the sessions they try at home some of the recipes or prepare those old recipes that they didn’t cook for ages to bring along to our weekly feast.
Little Green Fingers
Gardening and environmental activities for children aged under five and their families. Ewa Matusiak is our Food Growing Co-ordinator for Children and works with us on Monday running our Little Green Fingers sessions 11am – 1pm. Ewa also supports allotment holders in our family allotment area.
Bangladeshi Women’s Gardening
We have a number of allotment spaces for Bangladeshi women. The majority are older women who get to know other people in the community by regularly tending their allotment. Two spaces are for Holborn Asian Women’s Association who bring their children to play in the garden.
Our garden gives opportunities for hands-on contact with nature in the heart of King’s Cross. We are not only a green space to relax in, but have vegetable plots, a woodland play area, and a wild garden planted with native species which includes a pond and beehive. All of these areas are used for a wide range of activities with different groups.
Lots of groups and individuals are getting involved in community gardens, and there is a great interactive piece by Green Fingers detailing some of the projects people have set up across the country to encourage community involvement in gardening and food growing.