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Garden events

Come celebrate the seasons in our garden with traditional events like Wassail (January), Summer Solstice (June) and Bonfire Night (November). Look out for our annual Garden Party (August) when we mix climbing, music and food. We also have a number of child-friendly events in the garden throughout the year. For more information, see our Garden Events page or Events blog.

Sustainability bite

Plotting the revolution.
Our Community Mini Plots scheme allows local gardeners the chance to grow their own veg at The Castle. 
More Sustainability...

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The Garden

The Castle Garden is a long term project to grow food organically for the Castle Café. We began planning the garden in 2009 using permaculture principles to design it. The result is a one acre, vibrant green space teeming with wildlife. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the garden – come see our busy bees making honey in one of three hives, see the animals surrounding the mini-habitat of the wildlife pond or just enjoy a cup of coffee in the sun during a break. You can find out more about what’s been growing in the garden in the Garden Blog.

The roots

Food accounts for roughly one third of the carbon footprint of the average person in the UK and that’s mostly from transport, petrochemicals used by farmers and heating for greenhouses. Local, organic food avoids most of these carbon emissions. So, we can actually reduce our personal contribution to climate change more easily by changing what we eat than by changing the way we travel and use energy at home.

The Castle Café buys several tonnes of food every year and we’ve started to make changes to what we buy to make our food selection more sustainable. Of course the most sustainable way of getting food is to grow it organically in your own garden. So that’s what we're doing. We have about an acre of garden at The Castle, which isn't enough space to grow all the food to supply the Café year round, but it does produce a significant proportion of it.


Join the fun!

Did you know that much of the garden has been built by volunteers? There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Garden warm ups. From time to time we need some compost and other materials shifted. Get a good warm up before you climb by ferrying wheelbarrows of material. We’ll give you tea and cake in exchange! Signs will be posted at Reception when this is available.
  • Weekend workdays. Learn new skills and meet people on our garden workdays. We’ll provide the training, equipment and lunch. You provide the muscle and a smile!  Workdays will be advertised on our Event blog.
  • Garden volunteer programme. Mondays - Herbs, all about growing, harvesting, drying, making herb tea blends and products. Thursdays - Fruit and Veg, managing our kitchen garden, growing food for our cafe and composting.

Earn ‘Castle Quids’ that you can exchange for Castle services (membership, courses) by volunteering at The Castle. Get in touch by emailing or pop in to the centre if you are interested.

  • Mini Plots. If you’ve tried and failed to get an allotment in London, why not sign up for a Castle mini-plot. You help out in our garden and we’ll give you a small plot of your own to tend. Contact

Growing Communities

Growing Communities (GC) is a social enterprise providing seasonal fruit and vegetables to more than 500 households in Hackney through their organic veg box scheme. We’ve provided GC with 100m2 in our garden to grow produce for their Hackney-grown salad bags. The Castle Climbing Centre is also a pick-up point for the box scheme. Growing Communities won the Best Independent Local Retailer category in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2012.



External links:

Growing Communities, Permaculture Association, Capital Growth

The Castle Climbing Centre is plot 102 of Capital Growth.

Garden blog

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  • Sustainable City Awards – Winner in Sustainable Food Category

  • Sustainable City Awards - Shortlisted in Resource Conservation Category

  • Capital Growth – Grow For Gold, Inspiring Gardens Category (Second Place


  • Hackney in Bloom – Gold Prize in Best Food Growing (Professional)

  • Hackney in Bloom – Best Newcomer Award


  • Green Thinking Award at the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Community Sport and Recreation Awards
  • The Castle Garden received funding from Urban Food Routes - an initiative to support London’s small food enterprises to gain expert advice and funding to enable them to thrive and benefit their local communities.


If you would like to see what the garden are up to throughout the year, you can follow them on Facebook & Twitter


Cob in the Community

From building, sculpting, seed bombs, making clay ovens to mass heat ether rocket stoves. Regular courses throughout the year at the Castle.


Woodwork for everyone - an unassociated, self-supporting organisation that offers a cooperative and sociable space to learn and do woodworking with like-minded people.