A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

February Open Day

Sunday 24 February at Hawkwood Plant Nursery
At this month’s open day we have a seed swap – a chance to bring or take some seeds at the start of this growing season, and to learn more about why harvesting seed is so important in a just and sustainable food system. We also continue our focus on pollinators, with a BeeWild family craft activity and a workshop on pruning fruit – maximising nectar for pollinator insects and fruit for us to eat! And for lunch our guest chef is Ben Bohm-Duchen, who enjoys working with fine seasonal produce – see how he describes his approach to food and flavours below.

10-12.30 Seasonal Blitz morning: our weekend volunteering opportunity, join us at 9.45 for a 10am start. Lunch is provided for those doing the full morning shift.

11-1 Kids Kitchen: children cook up their own seasonal feast .. and eat it together! Places are limited for this and there is a small fee to cover costs – book online here, or find out more first here.

12-4 Coffee, cake and delicious locally grown lunch, the Hawkwood bar serving delicious wines and beers brewed on site  to drink or take away. Our farm stall has Hawkwood produce, jams, pickles, vinegars and herbal teas for sale. Chef Ben Bohm-Duchen says: “My passion for food comes from a love for the socially unifying power sharing a meal can encourage. Through both family connections and having spent time working in Italy, I developed a great admiration for Italian food, which has been refined by my time as a chef at The River Café. At Carousel I worked with many extraordinary chefs from around the world, gaining knowledge and experience of a wide range of cuisines and techniques that have influenced my culinary style. Everywhere I have worked there has been a very strong emphasis on using the finest seasonal produce available in order to let the quality of the ingredients speak for themselves. It is important to me that we start to develop a greater understanding and connection with the produce we consume, in turn supporting local farms and suppliers. Not only will that help ecologically, environmentally and economically, but it also makes food taste that much more delicious.”

1-3 BeeWild Family crafting: art session suitable for families of all ages. Creating prints of the plants loved by bees and butterflies, to become part of an exhibition later in the year. Dress for the outdoors and for messy craft activity.

1.30 Seed swap: bring your spare seeds to share or pick up some new interesting varieties. And an opportunity to learn more about why we need to resist corporate control of the seed industry.

2-3 Fruit Care for Pollinators: a practical workshop on the basic principles of pruning fruit bushes and trees for the benefit of both pollinator species and humans alike.

3 Site tour: learn about the site’s design and growing stories.


Directions to our Hawkwood site including bus, rail and river-cycle routes and the way through the woods are here. Parking is available at the site but space is limited so please come by other means if possible.



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