Hackney City Farm

One rainy day in Hackney, showing the city farm garden and the exterior of the strawbale classroom we built.

Hackney City Farm was established in 1984. It was an initiative brought to life by the local community who were inspired by the success of other City Farms. Their primary aim was: to give youngsters and local people the opportunity to experience farming.

The farm and local community have benefited from the dedication, enthusiasm and skills imparted by the many staff and volunteers that have been involved in the farm over the last 22 years. It is a living and growing community resource that will continue to develop into the future.

In the early 1800s the site was occupied by farmers and market gardeners supplying fresh produce to the city of London. Later as the area became built up, a brewery occupied the site and beer was brewed from late 1880 until the 1930s. The water used in the brewing process was supplied by a well, still present today (although capped) in the front garden.

In 1982 local people formed the farm, and kept a few animals in the nearby Convent gardens. Two years later Hackney City Farm took over its present site and was given a one hundred years lease by Hackney Council. Over the past twenty years, the farm has evolved from a derelict and dirty lorry park into a thriving popular community resource. It houses a wide range of farm animals as well as a rich cottage garden.

The older outbuildings have all been renovated into animal housing and much of the main building has undergone refurbishment. We designed and built a strawbale classroom and the farm later added new container offices.

For the future, the farm is now looking at how they can continue to replicate a farm in the city by carrying out the role of a farm, through seeding, nurturing and harvesting from the city for the community.

How many different ways can you use a Strawbale Classroom?