Stepney City Farm

by jessica-hodge in London

We did it
On 27th February 2014 we successfully raised £22,320 with 268 supporters in 56 days

From April 2014 we won't be able to open to the public, we need £15,000 so that we can stay open and free to visit, 6 days a week, introducing thousands more Londoners to local food and farming.

by jessica-hodge in London


Thank you all so much for helping us beat our target. Of course, the Farm costs way more than £15,000 to operate, but that felt like an achievable amount for this campaign. Now we've met it we are going to keep on going, with a new target of £25,000. The extra money raised will all go towards opening costs: the staff and stuff we need to remain open to the public and free to visit.


Why we need your help

Stepney City Farm welcomes over 30,000 visitors a year. People of all ages visit to get a breath of fresh air, feed the farm animals, tend their allotment or chat to neighbours over delicious local food in our café. If even half of our visitors in one year gave a pound we'd meet our target.

Of course, not all of our visitors can afford to. The Farm is in one of the poorest areas in the UK with the fourth highest rate of child poverty. It's vital that the Farm remains free to visit and open six days a week. So we're asking our supporters, and anyone who has visited, or plans to visit our beautiful farm, for a little bit of money to help us keep going.

Generous donors have given for our work with local schools, but this can't be used for general running costs. The money we raise here will be supplemented by other donations and income from our café and shop to pay for core staff as well as boring things like loo paper and soap – the essential every day stuff we need to open to the public.

About the Farm

Stepney City Farm in London’s East End is a working farm, Rural Arts Centre and community meeting place. We give children and adults a chance to meet farm animals, learn how to grow food and try out arts and crafts.

Residents in London’s East End got together in 1979 to set up a community farm here on a derelict site bombed in World War II. By 2009 the site fell into disrepair and faced closure. A new charity – Stepney City Farm – made up of local residents who tirelessly volunteered their time, effort and creativity. Work by people from all ages and backgrounds has brought about an increase in the number of paid staff who have in turn been able to generate change through their leadership and skill. We’re able to stay open for free six days a week. Although we still depend on funding – which keeps us going for only a couple of years at a time – these days the Farm is much more stable and last year we signed a 10 year lease with Tower Hamlets Council.

What we do

Children and Young People

Over the last three years we've worked with almost every school in the area, welcoming students for work placements, bringing whole classes in for out-of-the-classroom learning and working on special projects like the greenhouse made from plastic bottles you can see in one of our fields. Cambridge Heath Special Needs 6th Form come every week, as do a team of teenage young volunteers.

Local Food and Farming

We have 64 allotments at the farm as well as community growing spaces. Having exhausted all of our own space, over the last two years we've helped community groups set up their own food growing areas. There are new raised beds to grow fruit and vegetables around the borough, including at a hospital with the Specialist Addiction Unit at Mile End, the Idea Store at Whitechapel, Hawthorn Green Care Home, Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest, and the sheltered housing for older people at the Mosque Tower.

We raise animals and crops which are sold in our farm shop and café. In our little farm we're not able to grow enough to feed demand for local produce, so we also host a farmers' market providing food from within 100 miles of Stepney.

Volunteering and Training

We help all sorts of people get in touch with their inner farmer. Whether its an office worker wanting to muck out pigs at weekends, as a healthy alternative to the gym, or someone out of work with ill mental or physical health wanting a bit of therapeutic horticulture, we welcome everyone to volunteer at the Farm. We provide training too, so we're popular with young people wanting a career in animal care as well as those who've been out of work for a while, who need some work experience and some help with their CV.

You can see Stepney City Farm does lots of great stuff. We'd really like to continue and so if you've been, or plan to visit, and think the Farm should remain open and free for all to visit, please donate what you can – and of course receive some outstanding, generously donated rewards for doing so. Like these:

Photo of a cockerel

Yellow plate


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Your name on our supporter wall. We will write the name of every single person that supports us on a building wall at the Farm, because we are grateful to each and every one, and so you can feel a little glow of pride when you visit.

£15 or more

9 of 10 claimed

£15 Reward

Small animal health check (by a farmer not a vet). Bring your guinea pig, rabbit or chicken to the farm and Katharine or Josh will give them the once over, checking for any unusual behaviour, clipping nails (or wings as appropriate), checking teeth or beaks and advising on any action that should be taken. She will also offer advice on housing and health regimes you should follow at home. Can be taken any time in 2014. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£15 or more

7 of 30 claimed

£15 Reward

A wheelbarrow load of firewood from the Farm. You get the wood not the barrow so do bring your own transport! Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

A signed copy of "Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal" by Tristram Stuart. Tristram is an award-winning environmental author and campaigner and founder of He approached us back in 2012 and convinced us to take part in the Pig Idea, culminating in a huge free feast in Trafalgar Square. Seven of London's best restaurants served over 5,000 portions of free food, using pork that had been reared by the campaign at Stepney City Farm on a diet of food that would otherwise have been wasted. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Friends of the Farm membership (includes four free tours), four hot drinks in the cafe, and your name on our supporter wall.

£30 or more

£30 Reward

Stepney City Farm t shirt in either red or green in small, medium or large. Orders taken for colour/size when the campaign has finished. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£35 or more

14 of 60 claimed

£35 Reward

A space for one child on one of our 'little farmers' summer holiday sessions on 13th and 14th August. Run by our resident environmental educator Alex Collings, these workshops give kids hands on experience of farm life, opportunities to learn about our plants and and animals and have fun playing the great outdoors (and give you a break in the holidays).10am - 12noon: Morning sessions for 5-7 year olds. 2pm-4pm: Afternoon sessions for 8-10 year olds. Preferences for time/date slots taken nearer the time. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£35 or more

7 of 8 claimed

£35 Reward

Carve a wooden spoon An introduction to knife carving, no previous woodworking experience is necessary. We focus on carving techniques that will allow you to carve safely with confidence so you can create at home too. The class provides you with a strong foundation to create all sorts of carved objects, and by the end of the class you will have a beautifully hand carved cooking spatula you can take home and use! Friday 28th Feb 18:00-20:00 Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£100 or more

2 of 10 claimed

£100 Reward

Want to grow prize-winning pumpkins? Colossal carrots? Then you want good quality compost. For £100 we'll deliver a huge bag of farm compost, a mix of farmyard manure and composted straw and fruit and vegetable waste, (E1 only) every month through the main growing season, April to September 2014. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£200 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£200 Reward

A place on a ten-week pottery course with Stepney City Farm resident artist Jessica Joslin. Includes all tools, materials and firing (4 students max) Ideal for beginners as a practical introduction to the possibilities of hand built ceramics. Exploring the creative potential of clay in a small class you will be led with a project which enables you to gain practical experience of throwing, slab building, coiling, slip decoration and glazing. You will finish the course with at least one finished piece of work. Aprons are provided but don’t wear your best shoes! Dates tbc. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£400 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£400 Reward

You've heard of the cat cafe in Tokyo? Well how about a bunny tea break? We'll bring a selection of rabbits, chickens and guinea pigs to your place of work for you to play with at lunch time (central London only). Touching and caring for animals has an enormous benefit to mental health and wellbeing, relieving stress and helping people to bond emotionally. This is a programme we usually provide for care homes and day centres but we reckon the average office work force could do with a few bunny cuddles too! Plus your company's name on our supporter wall.

£500 or more

0 of 3 claimed

£500 Reward

Fancy keeping chickens in your garden? We will install a chicken coop and run in your garden, provide four of our farm chickens, a sack of feed and bedding to get you started and provide a follow up health check a month later. Tower Hamlets and Hackney only. Must give one month's notice before installation required. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£25 Reward

A signed hardback copy of Tiny Islands by Dixe Wills. Dixe is an esteemed author, admired by Stephen Fry no less. He's a raconteur, slow traveller and most importantly, a Stepney City Farm allotmenter. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£30 Reward

A signed copy of 'Chilli Notes', the new recipe book by Thomasina Miers, a mixed packet of chillies and your name on our supporter wall. The book will be published in May so you will need to wait until then to get your reward.

£35 or more

5 of 5 claimed

£35 Reward

An introduction to blacksmithing in the Stepney City Farm forge with new resident blacksmith Neil Stuart. Includes 45 minutes of practical blacksmithing as well as some theory and history of the craft. Saturday 29th March 2014, 10am to 11:15am Find out more about Neil's work here: Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£35 or more

5 of 5 claimed

£35 Reward

Learn to knit with Nic Walker and Jane Lithgow, professional textile artists and friends of the Farm. If you have always pictured yourself relaxing by the fire knitting a cosy scarf then Nic and Jane will get you on your way or if you want to take the next step, this is for you. The workshop will be in the Farm's gallery on 8th March 2014, 1.30 - 4.30pm. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£55 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£55 Reward

A £50 Wahaca voucher. Thomasina Miers, Masterchef winner and Wahaca founder, worked on the Pig Idea campaign with us. More importantly for you, the £50 voucher can be redeemed on absolutely delicious Mexican market food in any Wahaca restaurant.

£65 or more

8 of 7 claimed

£65 Reward

A beautiful plate (all different) from ceramacist Jessica Joslin. As well as being a Stepney City Farm resident artist, Jess has shown work in the Anthropology Gallery, New York, Chateau Saincrit, Bordeaux and is currently showing at Kensington Palace, London. Interested in the idea of functional ceramics, Jess plays with this notion. Their very decorativeness is becoming a theme of her work. These stunning plates are gift wrapped in a ceramic bow and are decorated in transfer and hand painted lustre. See images here: Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£75 or more

10 of 10 claimed

£75 Reward

Be a livestock farmer for half a day: Let the animals out in the morning, give them their breakfast and take a donkey or goat for a walk. Collect eggs from the hens, ducks and geese then reward your hard work with lunch in the farm café. Reward can be taken any time in 2014, Wednesday to Sunday only. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£85 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£85 Reward

An £80 voucher to redeem against any Blanch and Shock event (could be a pop up dinner, course, performance...) in 2014. Blanch and Shock cook incredible and extremely local, seasonal food. They've made cheese from our goats milk and used Stepney City Farm meat in their superb pop-up dinners. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£100 or more

10 of 10 claimed

£100 Reward

Talented artist Terry Jones will sketch you (or perhaps a friend or family member) either from a photograph or live. The live sketch would be in pencil and if drawn from a photo will be in ink, like this one: Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£100 or more

9 of 9 claimed

£100 Reward

A two-hour birthday party for up to 20 kids at the Farm on a Saturday or Sunday between March 2014 and February 2015. Includes a farm tour and animal handling. Plus your name on our supporter wall.

£150 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£150 Reward

A beautiful 11 by 11 inch print of a Elisa Noguera photograph of a Stepney City Farm cockerel. Elisa did a photo shoot at the farm, taking absolutely stunning portraits of some of our feathered beauties. You can see more of her work at Plus your name on our supporter wall.

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