“It all started when I house sat for a friend who keeps quails in his kitchen. I got hooked,” Tamara Russell, the chair of Brixton City Farm tells Brixton Blog’s Shelley Phelps.
Russell is part of a group of local people who have been farming animals in their homes and gardens.
All you need to give it a go yourself is a roof terrace, a coop and £2 for a pair of hens, according to the group’s website. The chickens will lay eggs nearly every day, it advises.
Now the organisation is seeking a permanent site to turn the project into a more conventional farm, producing eggs, milk, meat, honey and wool.
A community consultation event was held on 21 February in the to discuss plans to house the farm in Windmill Gardens.
Lucy Hyde, Brixton City Farm Project Officer, said: “People are mostly enthusiastic. There’s a real desire for more family friendly spaces. Everyone seems to love animals.”
“Some concerns were raised about losing space and animal safety. But we’re working to address that,” she added.
Lucy has a wealth of experience, having worked in city farming and urban gardening for several years.
Families got the chance to meet the animals on the day and a Q & A took place. Organisers estimated that around 60 people attended.
Lucy said she envisaged a “small micro-farm” that would house poultry and pygmy goats.
The organisation’s vision is for the farm to serve as a place where people can come together to learn about local history, the environment and food.
Traditionally, chickens were kept at Brixton Mill by the Ashby family in the nineteenth century.
The consultation period ends on 22 March 2015.
Residents can have their say at www.brixtoncityfarm.org.uk
The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG), a charity which supports and represents community managed farms, gardens and allotments, has nearly 200 city and school farm members from across the UK, and an estimated 200 city farms and community gardens in development.
FCFCG says its members employ around 550 people, have thousands of volunteers and attract over three million visitors a year. Their combined annual estimated turnover is £40m.
London has 63 city farms and community gardens. One of the largest of these is Mudchute Park and Farm, which spans 32 acres in the Isle of Dogs. The closest city farm to Brixton is in Vauxhall.