Growing Communities is a community-led organisation based in Hackney, North London. Over the past 20 years or so, we have created two main community-led trading outlets – an organic fruit and vegetable bag scheme and the Growing Communities Farmers’ Market. These harness the collective buying power of our community and direct it towards those farmers who are producing food in a sustainable way – allowing those small-scale farmers and producers whom we believe are the basis of a sustainable agriculture system to thrive.
We also run organically certified urban market gardens, where we grow produce for sale through the box scheme. We specialise in salads and leafy greens – and are very proud of our virtually zero-carbon salad bags. Our urban growing sites also provide training for growers and volunteers, some of whom are now helping us to create a Patchwork Farm in Hackney, where we grow food for the veg scheme in back gardens, on church land and on estates. In 2012, we opened our 2-acre Dagenham Farm, to grow a wider variety of vegetables on a larger scale.