There are city farms dotted all around the capital – they’re a great way for inner-city kids to learn about farming and the care of animals as well as gaining an understanding of how the food that we eat gets onto the plate.
Having visited most of the city farms in London I’ve just discovered what must be the smallest – Spitalfields City Farm just off Brick Lane. Located in one of Tower Hamlet’s most deprived boroughs, the site is only the size of a few domestic gardens, at just over an acre. Despite that fact they do manage to cram in quite a bit - they have a small herd of Golden Guernsey goats, two Kunekune pigs (a New Zealand breed), a ‘business’ of ferrets, a Shetland pony, two donkeys, rabbits, a couple of sheep, chickens and cockerels, several birds and a few guinea pigs!
In common with its neighbours Spitalfields City Farm also prides itself on its vegetable garden and this is the focus of their ambitious community programme. Every Wednesday and every other Sunday there’s a gardening session that welcomes everyone, with separate sessions for men and women from the local community taking place on Tuesdays. The city farm also co-ordinates healthy cooking classes at the nearby Brady Arts Centre on the first and third Monday of the month. On Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons the city farm welcomes local children to participate in activities.
There are lots of ways to contribute to the running of Spitalfields City Farm – they’re always on the lookout for volunteers. This page lists current openings at the site. If you’re in the area why not go along to see what they’re about – if you’d pitched up in May you would have bumped into the Duchess of Cornwall who popped in to have a look around. You can also read up on current developments at their great blog here.