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How to Grow Your Own in Central London.

All / Features 14 November 2016

How to Grow Your Own in Central London

Inner-city homegrown: Nomadic Community Gardens is an open space urban oasis.

12 million people. 300 languages. 611 square miles & not many allotments. Big investors buying up large swathes of public land & families evicted from their generational homes. It’s strange how much land goes unused in one of the world’s most populated cities where space is at a premium. So much so that in fulham recently someone snapped up 2 snooker table’s worth of garden for a bargain £120,000. 

That being said there is a lot of derelict land in London; you can see the plans for the 414 hectares of brownfield land up for development here. Some of it is derelict or almost-rubbish dumps, some of it is dark & scary to visit, but some of it is used for community gardens all around London for people who otherwise couldn’t access gardens or allotments.

Nomadic Community GardenMany of these gardens are about a lot more than food, being run by hostels or community centres to help all kinds of people get back on their feet & contribute to their local society. The problem is gardens take a long of time & effort to get going and these spaces can be taken back by developers at any time, scuppering months of hard work & emotional investment.

 This is one of various social issues tackled by Jay & Jimmy, founders of 1 Love Community in London. “More and more space in the city is being restricted, & people are feeling the squeeze, so what we do is find vacant sites to open up projects that allow communities to reestablish themselves, and we save spaces so people can feel more harmony & social cohesion.” The thinking is that these community gardens are not only important for bio diversity but also social diversity as it brings people from the local community together.

Nomadic Community Gardens WorkshopDisheartened by seeing community gardens go up in smoke, 1 Love Community developed a new form of urban agriculture using an innovative portable nomadic raised bed system in order to solve the problem. Their Nomadic Community Garden off Brick Lane not only homes 50 of these raised beds but doubles as a multi-functioning, multi-purpose space hosting art workshops, cook offs, film screenings, sculpture, painted walls & a demo bed showing how little soil is actually needed for crops to flourish.

Meeting of StylesOne of the many events held is the annual 'Meeting Of Styles’ organised by our good friends Jim Vision & Matilda at End Of The Line. The Nomadic Community Garden space has become very important to them since their Shoreditch base fell to the fat cat developers currently affecting sweeping changes across the inner-city London landscape. "The huge changes in London since 2010 and the affect that rising rent prices have had mean that we can't really do what we originally set out to do, and I think we're all having to evolve because of it. Since last year we've been working with the growing team at the Nomadic Community Gardens off Brick Lane, helping to build the garden and turning a patch of wasteland into a thriving habitat for wildlife and a place to be yourself."

Get involved with 1 Love Community here.