Vauxhall City Farm’s Community Garden, with the help of a small grant from Lambeth Council, is developing an underused site at the farm and turning it into an environmental space for local people, groups, and schools to benefit from long term, through community gardening and food growing.
In the initial phase, local volunteers cleared out the site, ensuring a safe space for visitors to use in the future, and prepared the land and the raised beds for replanting.
The aim is to open up the gardens (currently not accessible to the public) to the wider community and incorporate the growing of vegetables, soft fruit, herbs, and flowers, that will provide educational benefits to children and young people on understanding and practicing the production of food and the impact on the environment; health benefits through increased access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and wellbeing as well as social benefits in bringing people together to share and learn skills and encourage regular exercise.
In the longer term we envisage produce being sold in our on site café to help with the running costs of the community garden, making the project more sustainable, and to support other community activities such as coffee mornings and social groups, educational workshops, and training opportunities.
Why is the Farm doing this?
To safeguard and enhance the plant area of the Farm, and to enable many more people and families to actively enjoy, and benefit, from what will become a beautiful oasis of green.
The local population in Lambeth is increasing all the time, with a steady build of new developments and tower blocks in the area. Lambeth is the 5th most densely populated local authority in England and Wales. There are wonderful gardens in the local area, such as Walworth Garden and Bonnington Square Garden, but with the increase in the Lambeth population, quality green space for local residents is become more important all the time.
The garden area takes up roughly 1/5 of the farm land and is currently only accessible to a small number of people. Our aim and charitable objectives are to benefit the wider community, and we can do this by turning our old allotment area into a community garden for all.
Local volunteers will learn how to grow different vegetables, herbs, and flowers that promote eco diversity and help to keep the garden cared for. They will learn how to make compost from recycling farm waste, which will enable plants to grow healthy and strong. How plants are vital ingredients for medicines, and how they support good mental health.
The Farm regularly supports the school curriculum as well as the personal development of children and young people in 80 inner city schools. Over the years there has been a steady increase in both educational and public interest in learning about plants and nutrition. Statistics show child obesity levels are exceptionally high in Lambeth and our neighbouring boroughs – this can lead to serious implications later on in life. The Farm wants to help teach children how to eat well.
Many families living around the farm live in flats, without access to a garden. The Community Garden will give families and young people the ability to care for, and grow, vegetables and plants to learn about the many uses of plants. And how to care for the wider environment, as well as for their own overall nutrition and well-being.
To sign up to volunteer, please fill in the VOLUNTEER FORM and send it to the email address on the form.
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