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

Summer Weekend Workshops

OrganicLea’s Summer Weekend Workshops

We are so excited to open bookings to our Summer 2024 Weekend Workshop series! We’ve got four wonderful one-day courses on offer this summer, all taking place at Hawkwood Nursery, E4 7UH.

Beer Brewing
Saturday 8th June 2024, 11 am – 4 pm

OrganicLea are running a one-day beer brewing course, suitable for complete beginners and those with some beer brewing experience already.

Spend the day discovering how to make your own delicious craft beer to enjoy and share with friends. You’ll learn about the science of fermentation, the different flavours and styles of beer, and how to make reliable beers from scratch, at home with minimal equipment.

It will be a fun, hands-on class, and will include:

  • an introduction to beer brewing,
  • an overview of the ingredients and equipment needed
  • an introduction to various beer styles and how they are made,
  • and a practical beer brewing session, with some beer to take away and ferment at home.

There will be an hour for lunch, between 1pm – 2pm, and please bring your own lunch.

To book a place, please visit our Ticket Tailor page here: https://buytickets.at/organiclea/1238150

Fruit Care and Pruning
Saturday 13 July 2024, 11 am – 4 pm

Love your fruit! This one day course for beginners and more experienced gardeners covers the essentials of pruning and looking after fruit trees and bushes. It includes plenty of practical experience in summer pruning with techniques that can be applied in winter too.

The course will combine classroom-based learning with practical training, and will cover:

  • appropriate tools for pruning and plant care
  • general pruning principles and practice – applicable to fruiting and flowering trees, bushes and shrubs
  • specific pruning and planting techniques, including a range of wall/fence training techniques
  • an overview of other fruit care and maintenance tasks.

The tutor is OrganicLea’s Fruit Grower Marlene Barrett, supported by our Fruit team.

Wear sturdy shoes, and bring all-weather gear for outdoor practical sessions. Bring gardening gloves and secateurs for pruning practicals if you have them.

There will be an hour for lunch, between 1pm – 2pm, and please bring your own lunch.

To book a place, please visit our Ticket Tailor page here: https://buytickets.at/organiclea/1269669


Introduction to Natural Dyes
13 July 2024, 11 am – 4 pm

Learn how to extract colour from plants, in a step-by-step process from preparing your fabric to harvesting plants and making a dye vat.

We will start the day with a guided walk around the beautiful Hawkwood site in full abundance. Learn how to identify plants with pigments and which plants are more colourfast.

Returning to the kitchen, we will experiment with different wild plants, and kitchen waste to create individual pieces for you to take home. Techniques you will learn include shibori, tie and dye and botanical contact printing.

This workshop will equip you to continue your natural dyeing journey from your own kitchen.

This workshop will be led by OrganicLea coop member Dorothy Spencer along with Freia Groves, both with backgrounds in plant-based practices.

There will be an hour for lunch, between 1pm – 2pm, and please bring your own lunch.

To book a place, please visit our Ticket Tailor page here: https://buytickets.at/organiclea/1269678


Seed Sowing for Beginners
Saturday 10 August 2024, 11 am – 4 pm

This course is aimed at absolute beginners, who are interested in a practical session to learn how to sow seeds the OrganicLea way. We will be sowing seeds for both Autumn cropping and over-wintering vegetables, essentials to ensure a bountiful vegetable garden over winter.

We will cover:

  • Year-round growing ideas
  • (Compost) Growing medium selection
  • How to start and support seedlings

At the end of the course, you will be equipped with a foundational knowledge of seed sowing and be able to apply this to start your own seedlings. You will also take some of the seeds you have sown on the day home with you.

This course is being run by Danielle Ahmet, a Coop member, one of our Growers and tutors of the Level 1 Certificate in Horticulture. This topic was the very first course she attended and she attributes it as being the first step towards what became a major career shift.

There will be an hour for lunch, between 1pm – 2pm, and please bring your own lunch.

To book a place, please visit our Ticket Tailor page here: https://buytickets.at/organiclea/1269662




There is a standard fee for each of our courses.

To support our vision to inspire everyone to grow, and learn we have developed an easy way to be able to offer discounted spaces to those who need them. Please take time to read the guidelines and consider whether you can pay a solidarity rate (standard fee plus 50%).

You may also feel that once you have read these guidelines that you could pay a discounted rate (standard fee minus 50%).

Below is a short list of guidelines to help you make this decision of how much you can afford to pay:

Consider paying the solidarity rate (+50%) if you can tick at least one or more of these boxes:

□ You own the home you live in
□ Have access to savings and/or inherited money□ Working part-time/not working is a choice (for example, have negotiated reducing hours to take this course or taking time out to consider a career change)
□ Have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education i.e. educated to degree level

Solidarity rates will offer someone support to take a course they may not otherwise be able to pay for.

Consider choosing for a discounted rate (-50%) if you:

□ Support children or other dependents on one income
□ Work part time/are on low income i.e. working less than 16 hours a week
□ You do unpaid care work
□ You do not qualify for state funds solely due to your immigration status

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