Keats Community Organics has five principal aims:
To increase the amount of local grown organic food available in London - our produce will be sold through a number of different outlets including restaurants, shops, schools and direct to local people.
To train young urban food growers - we will offer 4 apprentice positions each year.
To provide horticultural therapy - we will provide short and long term volunteer opportunities for people with mental and physical disabilities as well as to schools and community groups.
To provide allotment spaces for local people to grow food - we will provide 24 allotment spaces and a community garden for use by local people living on the estate adjacent to the farm.
To be a replicable model of financially viable community urban food growing - We will be financially sustainable through a combination of growing and selling organically certified produce and delivering educational and therapeutic programs.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Urban agriculture projects such as Keats Community Organics allows us the opportunity to make a real positive difference to many people’s lives whilst also being a viable business. The farm will be a true community asset and will result in the follow long term benefits :
Increasing the health and well being of local people through providing greater access to fresh produce, volunteer opportunities and allotment spaces
Decreasing anti-social behavior by bringing a previously abandoned and fly piece of land into community use
Decreasing unemployment by providing employment on the farm and training opportunities
Increasing biodiversity through using organic growing methods and planting wildlife habitats
Decreasing air pollution and carbon emissions through reducing the need for food transport in London
Steps to get it done:
There are a number of community food growing projects in London but the vast majority are dependent on grant funding for their ongoing survival. Using our knowledge and experience, we will change this trend and create a financially viable model of community urban food growing that can be replicated around London and beyond.
To date we have secured the lease of the land and renewed its Organic Certification. We have adverstised the project to local people and made connections with a number of schools and community groups who have expressed interest in being involved in the farm. We have developed our produce list and advertised to local outlets. . We have created a 1 year organic growing course consisting of 10 sessions run once a month. We have met with a number of service users organisations in Greenwich and Bexly to discuss the horticultural therapy opportunities we are offering and have received interest from two NHS trusts who are keen to use of services.
About the space
5 acres of abandoned land on the edge of a housing estate