There’s always so much going on at Limborough Community Food Hub and community garden, so we wanted to create a monthly update, sharing what we have been up to with this photo blog.
This month we celebrated our annual harvest festival with Limborough residents, Maydwell gardeners from the Burdett Women’s Initiative, Poplar HARCA staff and Quaker Social Action.
After a tricky spring and summer growing season this year, contending with temperatures all over the place, the Limborough community came together to harvest what we managed to grow and were pleasantly surprised by the abundance and variety of produce.
Zulfa and Shaheda cooked up a storm in the kitchen, making plenty of vegetable curry and dhal with garden produce before everyone arrived for the Harvest Celebration, bringing more delicious dishes to share.
Walking around the garden and gathering more ripe aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, squashes, beans, herbs, chillies and prized kodu whilst chatting away with everyone was fun, with surprises in each raised bed.
We brought everything in to make a colourful table piled with vegetables and flowers, which brought us lots of joy and we shared out the bounty at the end of the festival as equally as possible with everyone who attended.
A quiet month at Limborough but we harvested some wonderful produce.
We were also very excited to unveil our new Limborough Community Food Hub banner and name plaque!
We kicked off July with a wonderful Eid party.
We welcomed our new team member Zulfa, who bought these beautiful cupcakes that her daughter had baked.
And of course, we had another abundant cucumber harvest, which we all shared and enjoyed ceremoniously!
We also had some help from staff from Morgan Stanley in the garden, who volunteered their time. Together we managed to clear out the garden and shed, fill the planters with compost, and plant them up with vegetables. A fantastic day’s work!
The seedlings we sowed back in February are really going for it. We had our first cucumber harvest in the first week of June. These were shared with the local residents. Beautiful fresh organic cucumbers! We’ve since been harvesting mustard leaves, lettuces, leeks and mint and marjoram.
Our amazing volunteer, Lynne, created some beautiful signs for the garden. They have already been put to use.
Our refugee families from Quaker Social Action were back at the hub too, taking part in the Together with Refugees campaign. They were busy creating orange hearts and an orange themed picnic, which we enjoyed outside after the cooking session.
And to round June up we celebrated 25 years of Poplar Harca at Limborough Hub. We hosted a lunch and a tour of the gardens with Poplar Harca staff. Our vegan lunch was cooked by Bow Brew Chef Ollie, and was delicious – baby aubergines on a bed of tahini, purple cauliflower in an umami dressing and homemade flatbreads.
We kicked off May with the first of our free gardening workshops for Tower Hamlets residents. Read about them here.
We also hold our Wen monthly team gathering and shared lunch at the hub. The weather was warm and sunny, so we were able to enjoy the gardens.
Cook up families from Quaker Social Action joined us just before Easter. They were making a classic Syrian dessert, Kanafa, using a special filo dough which gets shredded up, called Kataifi. They also made some mouthwatering almond biscuits and made extra for the upcoming Eid celebration which marks the end of Ramadan.
We also spent time, with the help of local residents, to clear the boxes, near the kitchen, ready for planting. We put some pink and purple geraniums in as well as some bedding plants, which will bring some much needed colour to the area.
Our leeks didn’t do so well last year, but we kept them in the box and amazingly seemed to have recovered.
On the 26th April we celebrated Eid. Read more here
We got busy sowing seeds, such as tomatoes and basil, using seeds that we saved last year.
We also welcomed new refugee families, as part of the Cook Up group from Quaker Social Action, to use the Limborough community kitchen. The families are living in hotels without access to cooking facilities. One of our visitors, after having tasted the soup she had cooked said, ”I’d forgotten what my cooking tasted like”. She was really happy to take the delicious home cooked soup back to eat at the hotel.
We had a great start to the year – Limborough garden was awarded 2nd place at Best Community Garden at the Tower Hamlets in Bloom Awards.
We also had Neil Simmons, former director of Campaign to Protect Rural England and organiser of the first national apple in 1990, visit Limborough to prune our fruit trees.
We also got busy building new raised beds and local residents helped clear out the green house ready for the growing season.
After being blighted with box blight, our beautiful box hedging had to be grubbed up. Thankfully this has now been replaced with some new hedging
Limborough Community Food Hub is located on a housing estate in Poplar, East London and is owned by Poplar HARCA housing association. It includes an ornamental Chelsea Flower Show garden, designed by Chris Beardsley, a small fruit tree orchard and raised beds for communal growing. It also comprises a community training kitchen, a food pantry and a workshop space. This unique site provides a year round programme of cooking and growing workshops.
MEET THE LIMBOROUGH HUB TEAM
Rebecca has a Fine Arts background and has worked in Production and Education. She loves living in Tower Hamlets and enjoying all the pockets of green amongst the city.
Shaheda trained as an Early Years Teacher, then later as a community gardener at a local city urban farm. Happiest when working with nature, growing food, centered around well-being and positive living.