January meeting

Alice HoldenAlice Holden – the Society’s January speaker

DATE Wednesday January 28th at 7.30pm
TALK Grown in Dagenham: Growing Food in the City
VENUE Uplyme Village Hall

Alice Holden’s two-acre Dagenham Farm was a neglected local authority nursery only a couple of years ago. She and her team have since turned the gravel and plastic-strewn wasteland into a thriving market garden, growing organic food for local people.

This plot of prime, urban land is part of Growing Communities – a not-for-profit social enterprise providing fruit and vegetables to farmers’ markets and local box schemes from their urban food-production sites. Of her small-scale, community-led farm Alice says, ‘Everyone involved seems to take ownership of the place. Volunteers and salaried staff are equally involved. And every week we’re humbled by how much customers and children love coming here.’

Alice’s route to digging in Dagenham was via the Soil Association’s two-year organic-farming apprenticeship scheme and her work on commercial farms and kitchen gardens around the country, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage. Last year she published her first book, Do Grow – Start  with 10 Simple Vegetables, with the aim of encouraging beginners to have a go at growing their own veg by optimising space and time available – even if it’s a window box and 10 minutes a week.

The pioneering Alice will talk to us about Dagenham Farm’s trials and successes on January 28th at 7.30pm.