Growing

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At Stepney City Farm we take our growing seriously. With generous support from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Scheme and Power to Change we have more than doubled our farm-grown produce in just a few short years. In addition to selling produce on the Farm and using it in our own Cafe, we are proud to supply fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers to top London restaurants including:

Ombra

Rochelle Canteen at the ICA

The Store Studios

Every space on the Farm is packed with growth. We fill raised beds of all sizes with Beetroot and broad beans; gooseberries and garlic; redcurrants and rhubarb; salads and herbs.

We extend the growing season for our Café and Farm Shop with produce from our two polytunnels; the latest indoor newcomer is the beautiful Black Pineapple Tomato.

All around the perimeter of the Farm, Stepney’s pavements are edged with tall pink and red poppies, giant pumpkins, Witloof chicory and sunflowers. Bees and butterflies are drawn to lavender, tobacco plants and cornflowers. There are the everyday herbs – mint, sage and parsley – and the less well-known such as agrimony and borage.

Patrons of our Café will often find the edible flowers of mallows, marigolds, nasturtium and heart’s ease in delicious salads and decorating cakes.

Visitors to the Farm will also notice our beautiful allotments, tended by local Tower Hamlets residents.

Seasonal produce

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Spring we grow cabbage, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, spring greens and spring onions.

Summer sees aubergine, beans (broad, Borlottti, runner), beetroot, courgettes, garlic, lots of varieties of lettuce, radishes and tomatoes; currants (black, white and red), raspberries and strawberries.

Autumn
is harvest time for our pumpkins and squashes, including their leaves, red Russian kale, chard, spinach and sweetcorn; the apple and pear trees are small but thriving.

Winter has more cabbage, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, curly kale and cavalo nero, parsnips and turnips.

Our wildlife pond is surrounded with fruit trees and bushes.

Permaculture

 

“Permaculture [is] the creation of human systems which provide for human needs, but using many natural elements and drawing inspiration from natural ecosystems. Its goals and priorities coincide with what many people see as the core requirements for sustainability.” -Emma Chapman

The Farm’s forest garden, funded by the Permaculture Association, is designed to permaculture principles and mimics a natural forest ecosystem.

We’ve grown perennial plants with extensive root systems, making our garden resilient to extreme weather and needing little or no maintenance.

The canopy layer will provide figs and mulberries and the understory medlars and cobnuts. The forest floor has plants with a spreading habit, including alpine strawberries and Egyptian walking onions.

The Farm is a member of the Permaculture Association and a Learning And Network Demonstration (LAND) learner site. We hope to become a full LAND centre and regularly host permaculture courses.

 

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