A couple of weeks ago I visited Bread Angel Julia Farkas at the market in the grounds of Roehampton University where she sells her amazing bread to a growing number of students and staff of the university. The market is in what looks like a walled garden where there are picnic tables, plants and trees, an area where you can flake out on cushions, and a wonderful cafe that serves great food, cakes, and drinks.
In fact, it’s not a walled garden at all and only 18 months ago it was a yard across which students and staff scurried to get from A to B on campus. Today it is a buzzing hub where people gather to chat, eat, buy great food and, on Thursdays, attend the market where the university’s student gardeners sell their produce and Juli sells her bread. An opportunity for commerce that benefits the local community by enabling them to buy great food, locally grown and made, and make connections with each other? Sounds great to me.
After drooling over Juli’s amazing bread, delighting in the wonderful veg, and over fantastic coffee and cake from the Hive Cafe, we discussed Growhampton and it’s goals with Teresa Sheppard, the Growhampton Development Officer. I asked her to write me a note about what Growhampton does.
Here is what she wrote:
“Growhampton is a sustainability project based at The University of Roehampton in SW London. It aims to bring good food to students, staff and the local community. Established 18 months ago, the project has set up growing spaces and a polytunnel on the campus grounds, growing a variety of leafy greens. The project has also opened the award winning (Soil Association Organic Eating Out 2014 Award) Hive Café, built out of two former shipping containers, that serves organic, local and ethical food.
The project runs a market day every Thursday, 1-2pm, where the fruit and veg are sold and where local bread angel Juli Farkas sells her amazing sourdough, focaccia, bread sticks, rye crackers and more. Students and staff are signed up to Juli’s bread club and come and collect orders from her stall as well as some tasty breads of the day.
Juli has been a firm favourite at the Growhampton market day, since it’s very first day. People come from all corners of the campus and community to get their weekly fix of real bread.
Growhampton are currently crowdfunding, so that we can expand our café, enabling even more people to have access to sustainable food. There are some fantastic rewards available from £5, including a bread making course with Juli. Find out more and pledge here www.crowdfunder.co.uk/growhampton. Campaign closes on the 30th June.”
You can visit the cafe any day for delicious food and drink and very friendly chat. The market is Thursdays from 1-2.