OrganicLea began in 2001, with the idea that more food can and should be grown locally, in London – and that it’s better to work with others than alone. Agreement was given for the project to take on an acre of once-derelict allotment land situated on the edge of Epping Forest in the river Lea’s valley.
Over the next year or two bramble was cleared, raised beds built and a forest garden planted with apple trees, worcesterberries and blackcurrant bushes. Structures created included a pond, a willow dome and a compost toilet (built into a honeysuckle bush). Annual and perennial vegetables were planted using organic and permaculture principles, working with nature, not against it, to grow food in a sustainable way.