Crystal Palace Food Market’s Patchwork Farm
The Patchwork Farm is a Crystal Palace Transition Town initiative. Crystal Palace is located in South London in the borough of Lambeth.
The aim of the patchwork farm is to expand the production and sale of local fruit, vegetables, herbs and other produce (including local processing). There is a year-round weekly stall at the Crystal Palace Food Market, every Saturday. On the Patchwork Farm stall fruit, vegetables and herbs are sold and swapped from more than forty ‘farms’ in SE19 and further afield.
The produce we marketed as “fresh, healthy and cheap”. The production follows organic principles but is not certified or labelled as organic. Reducing food waste and offering low prices to local consumers is an important social motivation as mainly volunteer labour is used. As well as selling to the general public the farm also supplies local food producers and restaurants.
Among the 40 different growing spaces (‘farm’ sites) are:
- Crystal Palace Transition Town’s five community gardens
- Local garden spaces that managed on a land-share basis.
- Sold, swapped or donated by local household or allotment growers who have a glut of produce.
The profits made from the Patchwork Farm stall go into the expansion of the growing spaces and into seeds, tools and other professional equipment needed. All of the people working on the project are volunteers committed to increasing the production of healthy, cheap, local food.
There are various schemes the public can interact with the patchwork farm:
‘Grow and sell’: Patchwork farm pays for locally produced food. If you grow or produce local food already and would like to sell, swap or donate it, bring it to the stall on a Saturday
‘Share your land’: Patchwork farm runs a local land-share scheme where people with a garden or piece of land that isn’t being used can share it. Patchwork farm makes the space productive and shares the produce with you.
‘Friday farmer’: Every Friday Patchwork farm harvests produce from our growing spaces ready for the market stall on Saturday, and sow and plant new crops. As the social enterprise is expanding rapidly it needs new farmers to volunteer.
‘Help on the stall’: The Patchwork Farm stall takes place from 10am-3pm each Saturday at the Crystal Palace Food Market.
Further info and pictures: www.crystalpalacefoodmarket.co.uk/patchwork-farm