Food growing garden sprouts in Hackney

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Hackney Homes residents from Hoxton’s Hobbs Place estate celebrated the official opening of their community vegetable garden on Saturday 5 April. 

The Hemsworth Court communal green area has received a new lease of life, with the emergence of a beautiful flower garden, several vegetable beds and new wheel chair access path making it easily accessible for local residents. 

Residents of all ages attended the event which showcased the new features of the garden and enjoyed a selection of food made by those on the estate. Local children had fun on the day, planting seeds and playing in the wildlife activity corner whilst neighbours mingled with each other, and were entertained by the Reggae sounds of resident DJ Bandeno. 

Chair of Hobbs Place Tenants and Residents Association, Suna Shanahan recently embarked on a Level two City and Guilds horticultural course with the Hoxton Trust, equipping her with skills needed to set up a communal garden on her estate.  

The project was funded by Hackney Council’s Community Chest fund and supported by Hackney Homes Grounds Maintenance team who donated a green house and water butt; collecting rainwater which can be re-used for watering plants. 

Commenting on the benefits of the new garden, Suna said: “We have had a lot of support from local residents to create our new space and we are planning many more functions in the community garden. It has brought the neighbours closer together and I thank all those who have supported us to make it all possible.” 

Hobbs Place resident, Zoe Marley recently moved to the area and said: “I think getting people involved in growing vegetables and plants is a really lovely idea. Many children in London do not have access to a garden and this is a great way to get them involved in planting.” 

Hackney Homes residents interested in setting up a ‘grow your own’ gardening group or garden on their estate can contact the Estate Environment team on 020 8356 1722.