Growhampton is a sustainability initiative with a big focus on food – from the seed to plate and palate! From its edible campus, to its bee hives and The Hive sustainability café, Growhampton provides opportunities for staff, students and the local community to engage with sustainability as volunteers, ethical consumers, and through research, coursework and work experience.
A large polytunnel, raised beds and containers throughout campus enable the production of a wide variety of fruit and veg. Spinach, basil and lettuce for example, are grown to supply a local social enterprise which makes socially responsible sandwiches, with fresh ingredients. Volunteers tend to the growing spaces, giving them the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in sowing, harvesting, organic techniques and much more.
A sustainability café has been opened and sources only local, organic and ethical produce. A weekly farmers market hosted at the café, sells produce grown on site travelling zero food miles to students, staff and the local community.
Top 3 learnings
1 Working with local community organisations can help engage more people with your project and hence have a greater impact
2 Have a clear idea about how you are going to make money from the start because that’s what will ensure your legacy in the future
3 Make the most of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to drive interest in your project.
An exciting project which is showing students, staff and the wider community how food can be fun and sustainable. The judges were taken with what had been achieved in a relatively short space of time and look forward to hearing about Growhampton’s future success!
“The Growhampton project, led by the Students’ Union and supported by the University, sums up what Roehampton is about. This spirit of innovation and collaboration runs through everything we do. I am proud to have one of the greenest campuses in London, and prouder still that we can put it to good use with this sustainability project.”
Professor Paul O’Prey, Vice-Chancellor