In April 2023, 16 residents and members of the Thamesmead Nature Forum visited Sitopia Farm in Shooters Hill, Greenwich.
The farm is a social enterprise that grows organic food such as salad crops, cabbages and herbs, before they’re sold at local markets and in veg boxes for the local community. Sitopia Farm also grows flowers which can be bought via the website or at the farm itself.
The farm was established two years ago to create a healthy and sustainable food system within South London, and is run by a small, dedicated team and more than 300 volunteers.
Thamesmead residents had a private tour of the growing tunnels and outdoor crops from Rachel, one of the gardeners. This was followed by a discussion where they had the chance to ask questions.
Community gardening leader, Tricia Reilly, said: “The trip was very inspiring, walking through the poly tunnel I had visions of replicating something similar in Thamesmead. It’s astonishing just how much they have achieved in such a small space of time. Overcoming odds of turning things around so quickly.
“Never has there been a better time to invest in a such a project in Thamesmead. We have a growing number of people interested in sustainable solutions, between environmental issues and the cost of living crisis. There are plenty of green and not so green spaces where we can scale this up, replicating something similar to Sitopia locally. Not only will this grow produce, it will grow our community. Developing skills and confidence, community cohesiveness, reducing social isolation and improving health and well-being.”
If you’re interested in getting involved with the Nature Forum or helping at one of the community gardens in Thamesmead, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.