Urban Growing

Gardens at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

By Karen Smith

Karen Smith, Growing Wellbeing Facilitator at Lawrence Weston Community Farm, writes our latest story. Find out how you can get involved with the farm, either as a volunteer or just to come visit and look around.

Lawrence Weston Community Farm is a community-managed project that aims to improve the quality of life for local people. We do this by working with members of the local community and other groups to provide exciting and inclusive activities, as well as a safe, free, green community space. The farm wants to provide a supportive environment in which people can flourish and contribute positively to their community.

Lawrence Weston Community Farm Community Orchard sign
Photo by Jane Stevenson.

We are lucky enough to have a large site with a range of growing opportunities including several different gardens, a polytunnel, woodland and a Community Orchard. We aim to grow a wide range of fruit, vegetables and herbs as well as raise plants for sale.

We have a dedicated band of volunteers who come out in all weathers to weed, prune, sow and harvest. Their hard work keeps the farm looking great and produces the crops that we sell. Our fruit gardens produced a great crop of strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, loganberries and jostaberries this year. There are fruit trees throughout the site and we harvest greengages, apples, pears and medlars. We also have a good selection of culinary herbs such as sage, rosemary and fennel, that we love to include in our Cooking for Wellbeing Sessions. This year we enjoyed a good harvest from the allotment garden as well with parsnips, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, squash and sprouts.

This autumn, one of our volunteers has been building new raised beds for us, so that people who don’t find it easy to bend over, can still enjoy the benefits of gardening. Volunteers have filled these with manure, which will rot down over the winter, ready for us to plant out in spring.

Lawrence Weston Community Farm: "Saving for Seed - do not harvest thanks" sign.
Photo by Jane Stevenson.

We try to work with nature at the farm. We have recently built some new compost bays with our corporate volunteers so we can compost our green and brown waste to reuse. We also use well rotted manure from the farm animals to keep our soil healthy. We have a wildlife garden to attract birds, bees, butterflies and other insects that help us in the garden – pollinating plants and eating pests.

Our Community Orchard has a range of local varieties of apples, plums and pears. However, in recent years the orchard has become a bit over grown and needs a bit of an overhaul. We’ll be getting the orchard back into shape over the next few months ready for spring. Winter is a great time for this, as the trees are dormant. We would love some more volunteers to help prune the trees and cut back the weeds.

If you would like to come and make new friends, enjoy the outdoors and do some gardening with us, please contact Karen on karen@lwfarm.org.uk or on 0117 938 1128. We are open Tues-Sun 9.30am-4.30pm and everyone is always welcome to come and visit and look around at the gardens, animals and woodland.

Join the conversation

So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

* Required field

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Sponsors