Whitechapel Women's Growing Club 

 
In 2016, a new partnership was developed with the Stepney Farm, supported by funding from Southern Housing to develop a Whitechapel Women’s growing Club, by developing the open space within the perimeters of the Fieldgate Mansions Community Centre into a growing area, as well as improving the established urban garden at the premises of Stepney Community Trust – both designed for Southern Housing Group residents
 

The project commenced in January 2016 and ran for one year. The outcomes have been the development of very active growing areas outside the tenants’ hall and improvements at the Stepney Community Trust’s urban garden.
 

This project also involved organising a harvest festival to eat together and enjoy what the women grew. As the harvest festival was designed for a larger group of people, the project organised organised a trip to Enfield Farm to enable the local women to go for a day trip, walk around the farm, get inspiration for growing and buy items for both their own home consumption and for cooking for the festival, which was held on 4 September 2016.

 

Since the completion of the project in December 2016, Stepney Community Trust has supported between 6-10 local women to gain access to the community growing areas at Stepney Farm to grow their own vegetables and herbs.

Small Space, grow More

 
In 2014, the Stepney Community Trust received funding from the Big Lottery Fund to develop an urban garden - called Small Space, Grow More - for local people on a small piece of open space at the back of the centre. The project created six separate growing spaces with raised beds, recruited twelve local people, mostly Bangladeshi women, and allocated spaces for growing.
 

As part of the process, the project engaged with Spitalfields Farm and Women’s Environmental Network to provide expert advice and training (theoretical and practical) to the community participants to learn about growing, looking after the plants and harvesting. The training involved both visits to the Farm and trainers from the Farm and Women’s Environmental Networking coming to the centre, and covered the following areas:
 

•    The principles and practices of urban food growing

•    Skills to grow your own food

•    What to grow

•    How to grow in small spaces

•    Plant maintenance

•    Watering

•    Harvesting

•    Composting

•    Sustainability

 
At the end of the project, there was a cooking session by the participants who cooked what they grew and shared with others as part of a mini harvest festival held in September 2014 at Fieldgate Mansions Community Centre

 
After the end of the funding for the project, the women continued to grow in the allocated growing spaces, without additional expert support.

Urban Garden Project

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