Tube station “farm” puts commuters on fast track to local fresh produce

Growing Communities

Dagenham East Tube

Commuters can grab organic produce from a London tube station in a ground-breaking project that utilises produce grown on a nearby urban farm.

The new project seriously cuts food miles and offers up a seasonal organic range of fruit and vegetables cultivated at Growing Communities Dagenham Farm, a 1.7 acre urban farm close to Dagenham’s Central Park.

Launched last week, the Dagenham East market stall is targeting weary commuters who can pick up healthy produce on their way home from work. Initially, it will operate once a week at the District Line station and stock tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, chillies, herbs and salad, grown on the nearby farm.

“We think this is the first partnership between a community farm and a TfL station,” said Kerry Rankine, coordinator of the Grown in Dagenham project.

“It’s a chance for local residents to access fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce. And they can find out how to improve their physical and mental health by volunteering at the farm – swapping the Tube tunnel for one of our growing tunnels.”

Dagenham Farm, which is funded by the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities fund, also trains unemployed residents in food growing and food preparation as well as teaching local schoolchildren about growing produce and developing healthy eating habits.

The farm was originally set up by Hackney-based social enterprise Growing Communities in 2012 and is now one of London’s most productive urban farms, producing more than four tonnes of fruit and vegetables every year.
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