Farm tops London in Bloom Awards

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November 9, 2016 by Tori Flower

londoninbloomWe are delighted to be awarded The Chairman’s Award, the top accolade, in the 2016 London in Bloom competition.

 

Here is what they had to say about us:

Overall Comment

Stepney City Farm achieves the majority of the criteria in full. The site offers local communities and individuals and opportunity to get away from normal life and the everyday routine. City Farm is an actual farm albeit small scale, but here animals are reared, and find their way into the food chain on site. The cafe on site produces organic food (fruit, veg, organically reared meat) most of which comes from the site itself. Workshop space and an educational classroom providing for the most cerebral activities of advising and informing local people of the benefits of engaging with gardening and allotmenteering. While the site lacks a certain “tideness”, but one recognises this is not a Park but a working Farm. Stepney City Farm is an outstanding example of community gardening and the management and staff are to be applauded.

Areas for Development

Apart from a few areas which could be a little tidier and less chaotic, little can be said. Although, as the site produces its fruit, veg and livestock organically, it would make sense to reduce the areas where pests and diseases could be harboured and to teach visitors/users the benefits of cleanliness in food production. When the Cross Rail returns the 2-acre site the opportunities are endless, but with the shortage of gardens and gardening opportunities and additional growing opportunities it would seem, to an outsider at least, new veg plots that should be high on the list and possibly an increased area for passive recreation, a small garden perhaps.

Community Participation

The group is working towards things such as:
Being inclusive of local people
Local ownership and direction
Making a difference to local people
Involving local people with planning, decision-making, communication & implementation Representative of the local community
Getting support (e.g. from local council, grant aid, sponsorship, in-kind aid etc.)
Planning for the future
Working in partnership with other organisations (i.e. police, community support officers, environmental groups etc.

Environmental Responsibility

The group is engaged in environmental activities such as:
Conservation (e.g. resources, heritage, wildlife, built environment)
Composting
Recycling
Creating, maintaining or improving green space
Sharing knowledge and skills
The group is engaged in addressing environmental issues such as: Fly-tipping
Fly-posting
Litter
Graffiti
Dog fouling

Gardening Achievement

The group is employing good gardening practices appropriate to the area, such as:
good plant choice
Good maintenance, presentation and management
Creativity

Innovation
Overcoming site difficulties
Enhancing the area through gardening


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