The Lee Greens community veg scheme is part of the Growing Communities Start-up Programme.
Growing Communities is a social enterprise run by local people in Hackney, East London. For the last 20 years they have been working to create a sustainable, resilient food system that can provide local people with real, practical alternatives to the damaging food system that currently exists.
In their words: “we find farmers and growers (or they find us), we create an outlet to sell their produce (our box scheme and farmers’ market), we pay them what they need to produce and raise sustainable food, we put a mark-up on the produce or charge a stall fee so that we can generate income to pay ourselves too, then we work really hard to make sure our community buys that produce. We do all this without grants and generate all of our income ourselves.”
Lee Greens is able to make use of an established business model for our scheme (much easier than starting from scratch) and we benefit from support and training, led by the team in Hackney with input from other schemes who are further down the road than we are.