Our plan is to provide:-
* Solar electricity to heat the Wolves Lane Palm House, to preserve a much loved public amenity with hothouse plants, koi carp and terrapins for local families to visit and for schools to have nature study lessons
* Sustainable heating for the café, an educational and community meeting space
* Insulation and innovative heat retention measures like compost 'hot boxes' to minimise need for artificial heat
* Spare power to sell to the grid to fund other activities on site
The Wolves Lane site:-
* Grows organic food, for sale and free for homeless people’s projects
* Houses an organic box scheme
* Trains volunteers in horticulture
* Runs school visits to study plants and food growing
* Provides an event space for community groups
* Is open to the public on Sundays with sales of plants, food produced on site, cooked food stalls and bike repair service
What we'll deliver:
- Use renewable energy to heat the Palm House and cafe
- Restore an educational and social space for the local community
Why it's a great idea:
Wolves Lane is a lively food-growing hub with huge potential for sustainable horticulture, encouraging healthy eating, teaching children and families about food, plants and climate change. It could also house community meetings, parties, art activities, film and music events. The café space could be selling healthy food, demonstrating how to cook it, and providing jobs, including possibly for people with learning disabilities. But all that – and preserving our miniature Kew Gardens-type greenhouse with its unique North London plant collection – needs HEATING. Better still, renewable-energy-heating...and we need to install it fast to catch the Feed In Tariff before it ceases for new schemes in April 2019.
Steps to get it done:
- Installing solar panels
- Regular cafe opening for the public
- Reinstatement of school party visits
Last winter the gas heating at Wolves Lane broke down so there was no heat on site. As a result, some plants in the Palm House suffered considerable damage or died. A very active group of local volunteers has come together to work with all the site users to put Wolves Lane back on the map for local people.
The site is currently run by a consortium of not for profit cooperatives:
London Grown (a community food growers' cooperative), Crop Drop (a local veg box scheme), Shared Assets (a ‘think and do tank’ which is researching and promoting good models of public land management), The Ubele Initiative (working intergenerationally for the future of commuities) and Dee Woods (a community practitioner delivering workshops in food literacy and cooking skills). OrganicLea (the site leaseholder) runs a community enterprise in food growing and training at Hawkwood Nursery in Chingford.