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What We're Growing

We grow and sell a great variety of seasonal and organically grown produce.

We grow a variety of vegetables on our edible campus, but we specialise in leafy greens, such as kale and salad, and having a polytunnel allows us to grow these all year round.

We also grow more unusual and experimental crops such as quinoa, amaranth, tomatillo, buckwheat, potol, melons, chilis and oats.

A big part of what we do is to spark the power of imagination, inspire others and show that we can reduce food miles by growing a diverse range of crops here in urban, south-west London.


Courgette

July to October

Courgette is one of our most reliable and heavy cropping vegetables over the summer months. In 2020 we grew as much as 56 kg, much of which went into nutritious meals cooked up at The Hive café and donated to local residents via the Roehampton Community Box. We grow several varieties including zucchini, patty pan, piccolo and gold rush.


Cucumber

July to October

Summer squash are a great addition in the garden and we grow several types of cucumber to be sold in The Hive café. In recent years we have been growing ‘Mexican cucumber’, or ‘potol’, which is a lesser known vegetable in the UK and one that has the texture of a green pepper. It is very vigorous and produces fruits all summer long. It works especially well in a curry. We also grow crunchy salad cucumbers, which provide an excellent source of potassium.


Chilis

July to November

Part of the human diet for more than 10,000 years, chilis are an exciting crop to grow and reward with their long harvest season, well up until early winter. A key ingredient in our famous Froebel chili jam, we grow several types in our polytunnel such as basket of fire, purple, scotch bonnet and cayenne.


Beans

April to July

Soil health is a key focus of our crop cycle. Broad beans are an excellent plant to improve soil health over the winter and provide crispy, high-protein fruits in early spring. They work particularly well in hummus, or lightly toasted as a garnish on pasta. The purple flowers are also attractive to bees and pollinators. Over the summer and autumn we grow other varieties such as runner, climbing borlotto and dwarf. By freezing some of our harvest we can supply The Hive café with tasty beans over the winter months.


Peas

April to June and November to February

We grow sugar snap and purple peas over the spring and pea shoots for our salad bags in the winter. Growing and eating peas can make a positive contribution to soil health, as pulses and legumes help to fix nitrogen in the soil and increase microbial diversity. They also break disease cycles and help crops to access more nutrients. In the effort to reduce food miles and dependency on avocados, a highly water-intensive fruit, pea puree makes an excellent local alternative.


Leek

September to February

The humble leek is an unassuming and popular veg for the Growhampton family. Highly versatile, hardy and with relatively few pests, it is a crop we have grown for many seasons. The Hive café is especially fond of its varied use in the kitchen, from roasted veg and soups to curries and risotto.


Butternut Squash

August to November

Rich in beta-carotene, fibre and Vitamin A, butternut squash is one of the most exciting and colourful vegetables we grow on the edible campus. An excellent crop for winter food security, owing to its long storage life, it is also a favourite ingredient in the curries, stews and soups prepared at The Hive café. In 2020 we grew more than 75 kg on campus.


Tomatillo

July to October

A relative newcomer to our garden, in 2020 we grew tomatillo for the first time, with very positive results. It works especially well in green salsa verde and is hardier than the tomato plant (which is in the same family). In fact, the tomatillo plant can go for long periods without water and can also withstand the unpredictable conditions of the London summer, meaning that we should be growing more of this resilient plant as our climate continues to change.


Melon

July to October

Many people are surprised to hear that we can grow melons here in Roehampton. In 2020 we successfully grew 15-20 cantaloupe melons in our polytunnel, which were then sold at The Hive café. Rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene they bring refreshing, cooling taste to a warm summer day. The introduction of more unusual fruit and vegetables is something we will continue to do going forward, particularly as different foods resonate with different cultures and cuisines, and also as the summers are getting hotter and potentially drier in London.