"A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge"
'Teamwork makes the dream work' – and this is precisely what Organic Lea do, working together to grow food for local people. Their vision:
"a socially and environmentally just food system where the means of production and distribution, including access to land, seed and water are controlled not by markets or corporations but by the people themselves"
Organic Lea sprouted in 2009, way before they moved onto this site in Chingford. The land was council owned and used to grown flowers for roundabouts in East London, but Organic Lea now grow edible produce to feed the local community, currently creating 484 bags per week.
And, they are successful! They've seen a 50% growth since 2016.
The scheme is primarily run by volunteers who are taught how to grow their own food.
When I went and visited for the day they fed me this amazing lunch made from veg bags which hadn't been collected the week before (even more of an incentive to volunteer!).
They deliver all of their fruit and vegetables to pick up points.
It’s simple. You choose which type of bag(s) you’d like and which of their pick-up points you’d like to collect from, then fill in the online form and make your payment. They deliver your bags as soon as they can, in most cases that’ll be the following Wednesday.
They have a variety of bags available and you can choose the one that best suits your household. The bags are available to collect on Wednesday afternoons and at different times depending on the location.
I personally receive their bags once a week and always feel slightly smug as I know I'm getting some of the BEST vegetables in London. They supply to some very posh restaurants such as The Clove Club which just reaffirms the quality of their crops.
I really can't rave about Organic Lea enough – they project everything I believe in about local farming and buying local: