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Create a Suburban Farm for Tolworth

Funded on Spacehive 29 August 2017

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Create a Suburban Farm for Tolworth

The Community Brain By The Community Brain

We want to create a space to train and inspire a generation of Suburban Farmers to transform Tolworth putting food onto tables, into the Community Kitchen and into the food chain. Let's grow for good.

Surbiton Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 29 Aug 2017!

The Community Brain would like to launch a suburban farming project to ensure that any new ‘public space’ has potential to generate food for the local area. We have recently taken over the abandoned Tolworth Allotments Society building and surroundings with the aim of introducing the community to suburban farming possibilities, teaching food growing, and building productive, sustainable sources of locally produced food. We want to inspire communities to feel proud of where they live and actively engage with it. Tolworth, in the Royal Borough of Kingston, faces a period of significant regeneration. Crossrail, major planning applications and ambitions for the A3 are bringing a new focus on this previously overlooked part of the borough. The appointment of architects and urban designers to deliver a master plan for the area will open even more opportunities for development. Community interest company, The Community Brain, wants the community and not just developers to feel the benefits

What we'll deliver:

  • We will repair and rewire the shed to make it suitable for growing, teaching and demonstrations
  • We will create new raised planters from recycled materials for demonstrations and community growing
  • We will trial Aquaponics to prove their potential value to the local community
  • We will research the history of allotments in Kingston to give a sense of place
  • We will work with Kingston University to help vision what the future of allotments and sheds might be
  • Link with local schools to take the Suburban Farming project into school grounds

Why it's a great idea:

Along with 'feeling safe' and 'people', our annual community surveys reveal that what matters most to community is ‘feeling included’ ‘community events’ and ‘public spaces’. We hear how people want ‘spaces to breathe’, for ‘public land and spaces to be kept public, and better preserved’. And they reveal concern about traffic levels, congestion and pollution in Tolworth, We know that locally produced food, independent business and nurturing talent are key drivers of people's sense of a community where hospitality and communal eating play a significant part in its character. The Suburban Farming project brings all this enthusiasm and insight together. It’s about productively greening the area, giving it a real positive local narrative that not only picks up on a half-remembered past but also projects it into an exciting and optimistic future, making every space a potential resource, however small, public or private. Not only for now, but for future generations. Let's 'Grow for Good'

Steps to get it done:

  • Repair shed – roof and doors
  • Fit out for use as teaching, demonstration and training space
  • Rewire for new use
  • Purchase & Install demonstration aquaponic equipment
  • Clear external area
  • Build raised planters and fill
  • Plant out area
  • Start training courses
  • Commence heritage project for exhibition

The little-known but fascinating, rural, history of Tolworth belies its current, poor quality and neglected suburban feel. Tolworth Court Farm, for example, has medieval origins and is still visible in the area. But we don't just want to develop a suburban farm along traditional lines, we want to move towards establishing an aquaponics centre to further promote food production and reduce food footprint. We’ve already had fruitful conversations with the council and a number of interested parties in the area, including the allotment society and local beekeepers, who are excited about the prospect of such innovative approaches and want to offer support, and share their skills and passions. Local schools are also keen to be involved. We will link all this to the Community Kitchen we launched in 2016 at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton, to provide the community with opportunities to learn and develop through workshops, demonstrations, advice sessions and research.

Location Surbiton

About the space

The former Tolworth District Allotments Society Shed on the Alexandra site


Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

How will the money be spent?Total £17,604

Rewire the shed for new use - £6,130 (35%)
Purchase demonstration Aquaponics systems and materials - £3,981 (23%)
To repair the roof, doors & fence - materials - £2,100 (12%)
Internal fit out - £1,850 (11%)
Recycled materials plus to build new planters etc - £850 (5%)
Volunteers Labour - £750 (4%)
Plants, soil and professional advice - £500 (3%)
Plant and seeds starter kits plus professional advice for heritage project - £500 (3%)
Tools and other hardware - £250 (1%)
Other - £693 (4%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Rewire the shed for new use
Purchase demonstration Aquaponics systems and materials
To repair the roof, doors & fence - materials
Internal fit out
Recycled materials plus to build new planters etc
Volunteers Labour
Plants, soil and professional advice
Plant and seeds starter kits plus professional advice for heritage project
Tools and other hardware
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT

Total £17,604

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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