Meet The Green Patch

Meet The Green Patch, an award-winning community garden and green space tucked away on the edge of the Grange housing estate in Kettering, north Northamptonshire. The Green Patch, run by Groundwork Northamptonshire, is a proud member of the Full Circle project – a Northamptonshire initiative focusing on sustainability and reducing food waste.

Meet The Green PatchGrowing people

The Green Patch is the biggest community garden in Northamptonshire, if not the UK. This exceptional space,  run by Groundwork Northamptonshire, is a 2.5-acre site in Valley Walk, Kettering.

The Green Patch is a magnet for the whole community, running sessions every Tuesday and Thursday for adults and children with needs, volunteering days for companies, and selling vegetable boxes with homegrown seasonal produce.

The Green Patch manager, Grey Lindley, said: “There’s so much going on here. Our vegetable boxes are sold from July to the end of February, and they have seasonal stuff in them like leeks, potatoes, broccoli, and salad greens. They’re great value at £6 for a small box and £12 for a large, which is a really good deal and very affordable. We are hoping to start supplying local restaurants with some fresh produce soon as well.”

On top of that, The Green Patch also acts as a community hub for the local area, providing a food bank every Tuesday and Thursday in conjunction with Tesco.

“We have had hundreds of volunteers come through our doors to support our various schemes and others who come here in need of some kind of support, including help and advice on gardening and youth work,” explained Grey.

The Green Patch is also home to chickens, ducks, rabbits, and bee hives, as well as an innovative worm farm, which is a new operation for The Green Patch.

Reducing Waste 

Everything is composted at The Green Patch, including any excess from what isn’t distributed free through its twice-weekly food banks.

Its new worm farm is able to reduce waste bread as that cannot be composted.

Grey explained: “A lot of the bread we have goes stale and you can’t compost it as it attracts rats and mice. But the worm farms can break down the bread and are something the rats and mice can’t enter.”

As well as this, any leftover greens are devoured by the chickens and rabbits.

Sustainability

Sustainability is central to The Green Patch and Groundwork Northamptonshire.

Here are just a few of its sustainability successes:

  • Reducing CO2 emissions by adopting best practices such as switching off electricity, not burning compost but turning it into dead hedging, whereby bracken is piled up in vertical walls to also provide necessary habitats for animals like endangered hedgehogs.
  • Encouraging volunteers to cycle or walk rather than drive to The Green Patch.
  • Reuse and recycle products whereby, if something is broken, they try to fix it, including bicycles and gardening equipment.
  • Poly tunnels of plants are grown into useful produce with lots of herbaceous plants, herbs and flowers which are used in the food boxes.
  • Beehives – honey bees are attracted to the nectar produced by all the flowers on the site.
  • Environmental educational programme starting this July.
  • Edible hedgerows, which also provide a natural habitat to many animals.
  • Rainwater harvesting – water is collected from the rooves and re-used for livestock and vegetables, meaning less mains water is pumped from the distant reservoir.
  • Fresh produce – local people are able to buy these at affordable prices, so reducing food miles and climate emissions.

 

Full Circle Project

The Green Patch is a proud member of the Full Circle Project, a Northamptonshire initiative focusing on sustainability and reducing food waste. The Green Patch is featured on the new Full Circle interactive map.

Grey said: “By taking part in the Full Circle project, The Green Patch hopes to raise awareness locally of the importance of sustainability and reduction of food waste. We would encourage others to join Full Circle and make a difference to reducing the carbon footprint, promoting sustainable practises, and slashing food waste. We all need to play our part.”

 

Website:www.seedsofhope22.org.uk

Tel:01536 521555

Facebook & Instagram:@TheGreenPatchKettering

Website: www.greenpatch.org.uk