An Urban Orchard in Greenwich, London, England.
For a thousand years Combe Farm grew food for the people of Greenwich (Royal Palace, 1 mile away) and London (St Paul’s Cathedral, 7 miles away). Situated in the alluvial plain of the River Thames, this fruitful land in 964 belonged to King Edgar the Peaceful.
With the coming of the Industrial Revolution the farmland was besieged, chalk was dug out of giant pits to use for road building – before tarmac new roads were bright white! Railways were built, followed by rows of brick houses. Then in the 1970s an eight lane motorway drove its way through the Victorian terraces.
On this once fertile soil, one marginal site survived the onslaught because an old timber yard and workshop kept the ground from being trampled. The land was abandoned and overgrown when my wife and I bought it in 2002, and then began our quest to bring these 1,000 sqm back into community use, to provide holiday accommodation and space for growing food for local people and visitors.
With perseverance and good will; at the Urban Orchard there shall be fruits, market garden vegetables, chickens and Aquaponics. Farming here brings opportunities for healing, and stimulates the wellbeing of the local community.
Owen A. Barfield
The land in Westcombe, Greenwich, year 2015
Thank you for your support.