Bateman road

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What kind of vegetables and flowers have you got growing?

I have covered most of my site with an over-winter green manure mix to nourish the soil and add lots of organic matter in spring. I've planted loads of spring flowering bulbs - anemones, ranunculi, narcissi, gladioli, alliums and tulips, and sown hardy annual flowers and winter salad.

What’s been the response from the community and the people enjoying your vegetables and flowers?

The response from the locals has been really positive, I've put a lot of work into transforming the site from an eye-sore into a little haven of biodiversity, and people passing by have definitely appreciated that. I've had really good feedback on my salad mix, which I sell in bags from April. And the restaurants I have been working with love the unique crop varieties I've selected.

What are your plans with the plot going forward?

Plans for the plot going forward are to run more classes for school children and plot holders and horticultural therapy sessions, which has been a challenge during the pandemic. I'm coming into the last season of my contract on the site, so it would be great to go out with a bang and get as many people as many people inspired by the plot as possible.

Creative by Document Studios

Photography by Rory Griffin

Art Direction and Text by David Hellqvist

Jacket and gilet from Burberry, all other clothing Model’s Own

Allotment Lyfe

The Bateman Road Project is a 1,000 m2 allotment run by Max Onslow in South Chingford, northeast London. The plot is the result of a Farm Start internship Max did with OrganicLea, designed to help people access land and learn skills to pursue a land-based livelihood.

Max took on the Bateman Road site in the autumn of 2019 and have since converted the overgrown and abandoned plot into a fully functioning biodiverse market garden, using only natural methods influenced by permaculture, no-dig and bio-intensive farming techniques.

As well allowing him to earn a sustainable income from direct sales to restaurants and delis, the site is designed to teach and engage locals of all ages about growing food and flowers.

During the winter Max is prepping the soil and tiding up the plot after a busy season. He plants flower bulbs while giving the vegetation that will hibernate over the winter some much-needed TLC. Allotments might come into bloom in the summer, but the hard work carries on throughout the year.

What is your favourite aspect of allotment lyfe?

The allotment has a nice community feel. The tenants are all very friendly and supportive. I love being outside all year round and feeling more in tune with the changing of the seasons. Allotments are becoming more and more popular now so it’s great to see new people getting into growing their own food.

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