Primary Research

by Fion Fong
Tags: research

Hackney City Farm

My visit to Hackney City Farm was exciting and altogether relatively unproductive besides one conversation with a worker named Charlie. 
Overall, I enjoyed seeing the animals and the garden was quaint and cute but I failed to see the point of the farm. This wasn't the type of farming I expected. The farm was open to public viewing and from what I gathered, most of the food produced was sold at the farm's cafe. This confused me because I was under the impression that urban farms were plots of land owned/shared by people living in the community. It didn't seem like a lot of productive farming was actually going on. 
After looking around, I spoke with a worker, asking him about the farm, the way it works, its purpose and so on. He explained to me that all the city farms are a defined as charities, sponsored by different public and private organizations. The purpose of the farm was to educate people on the processes of growing vegetation and raising livestock rather than actually growing and raising in substantial quantities for the community. He explained that a lot of schools do field trips at this farm, a lot of volunteers work there to help keep the farm going and that they host a school for the mentally disabled. He emphasized that the peace from being 'in nature' and from the act of growing, alongside the knowledge of running a farm is what they focus on. He recommended that I check out London's Growing Communities which focus more on growing a certain amount of food for each person that signs up and participates. 

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http://hackneycityfarm.co.uk/

(above) 
The various animals kept at Hackney City Farm. 

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(above)
The Garden space at Hackney City Farm. 

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(above) 
Useful information to reference and check out later. Especially the Growing Communities! 

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Surface Design Show 2015

Most of the booths at this show were geared towards surfaces for interior design. There were a wide range of materials on display. What I found the most interesting were the forms of the materials instead of the what they were actually made of. I enjoyed the fact that I could actually see and touch the actual materials on display.
Overall, I found that show was quite interesting, it was not altogether relevant yet because I'm still in the beginning stages of my Unit 7 project. I think it will be better to reference later on, when I am working through the structure and materials of the design.

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Victoria & Albert

Architecture Exhibition

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A study of animal welfare in the boroughs of London. 

http://www.sustainweb.org/londonfoodlink/2011_london_borough_action_on_animal_welfare/

A growing community in Hackney, London producing and selling locally grown, organic food. 

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THE FARM SHOP: Dalston, UK. 

http://farmlondon.weebly.com/sustainability.html
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Cultivate London.

Innovative urban farm and social enterprise based across multiple derelict sites in West London. We train unemployed young people in horticulture, and produce a range of edible and ornamental plants for sale.
Main objectives:

  1. To generate training opportunities and jobs for unemployed young people aged 16-24 in practical horticulture
  2. To convert derelict and vacant land across London into productive food growing space
  3. To increase the amount of local and organically grown produce consumed by Londoners

    We aim to have a long term impact on the lives of young people and change the way Londoners think about their fresh produce and where it comes from. 

http://cultivatelondon.org/

Sky Garden.
20 Fenchurch Street. 

-Enclosed rooftop garden. 
-Mist-spray irrigation system. 
-Overall, more for aesthetic then for gardening. 

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Hoxton Trust Community Garden. 

I took an interest in the different types of planters used around the park. As well, the small greenhouse structure was helpful to look at. 

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Sheep farm in Kent. 

I was astonished at the amount of land that was needed to raise so few sheep. At the same time, it was refreshing and hopeful to see someone raising sheep ethically. 

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