(Photo: Celia Lowe)
The Growing Kitchen is a resident-led community garden project situated in a quiet corner of Hoxton. Through a lottery grant of £10,000 seven years ago, a formerly disused site has been transformed into a beautiful shared garden.
We have 35 micro allotments, a raised stone-built seated herb area, a communal foraging area with wildlife pond, a rose wall and covered space with clay oven and barbecue where we have our monthly meetings and stage fun events and workshops.
In a built-up area, the Growing Kitchen has become a valued oasis of calm in which to garden, socialise and share food and ideas. With a truly diverse and multicultural membership everyone has an equal say and input, which has enabled the garden to evolve into a unique environment and source of pride for residents.
Our collective aim is to reduce isolation, encourage healthy eating and invite new members and involvement. Most recently we partnered with the London Orchard Project and have also established an orchard and wildlife area in the heart of Wenlock Barn. Through tenant engagement, more open access and diverse planting we are looking to shape our own environment and find an alternative to the council's current gardening practices.
In July 2013 we received the London Local Food Hero Award and in 2014 won the NFTMO award for resident engagement, reflecting our good work on governance. Noted by one resident as a 'hidden piece of countryside in Hoxton', all visitors will receive a very warm welcome.