As some of you may know I write a monthly column for E9 magazine on interesting food related projects going on in E9 and surrounding area. Whilst looking for an interesting story to write about I came across a notice in the Jellied Eel magazine declaring Stepney Farm Café as the winner of the Best Eatery Urban Food Award as voted for by the public. I had heard of the urban farm before but had considered it to be more of a petting zoo for children and so I investigated further…..
Turns out the place was taken over by new people five years ago in 2010, ten trustees registered the farm as an official charity and have really brought in some great changes and made the farm a successful working example of sustainable farming working in tune with nature. One of the additions to the farm is the café which has now been open for two years and doing very well with the kitchen led by chef Joe Fennerty who is a Slow Food Campaigner of the Year runner up award winner. Most of the produce comes straight from the growing allotments and the farm animals which Joe creates delicious seasonal dishes from. You can read all about the café in my column which will be published in the May issue.
The farm has so much going on there on a weekly basis please check out their website which lists regular activities, workshops and volunteering opportunities for adults and children alike. I would like to mention here some special festivals which are coming up over the rest of the year. The festivals are usually supported by well known top chefs and run with the aim to raise awareness about particular food and environmental issues.
Diary Dates At Stepney Farm
24th April 7:30 pm Be Kind & Dine
Stepney Farm will be serving up a three course meal using produce from city farms. Proceeds from the popup dinner event will go back into the farm helping them to develop their bee-keeping programme. Tickets are £35 and can be booked
here. You can make special dietary requests by contacting the farm after you have booked your tickets.
9th May 12 -2pm BBQ with Ben Tish
Running alongside their regular Saturday farmers’ market chef Ben Tish from the Salt Yard Group will be running a delicious BBQ. This is sure to be a popular event, so don’t be late!
12th May 7:30 – 10:30pm The Natural Way
If you love Italian food then this one is for you. Stepeny Farm will be serving up a homemade handmade four-course fresh pasta tasting menu using organic and vegetarian ingredients for just £25. While soft drinks will be provided you are invited to bring your own wine and beer. Book your tickets here.
21st June Bee Bonanza
Raising awareness and celebrating all the hard work our furry buzzing little friends do to help keep the ecosystem working Stepney Farm are organising fun events such as honey tasting, pond dipping and hive exploring! Head along and join in the fun.
4th July Summer Craft Festival
Get crafty with a chance to learn and buy beautiful handmade pottery, woodwork and much more from local artisan crafters.
18 – 19th July Hen Ho Down
Stepney farm will be adopting some ex-factory farm egg laying chickens and running the event to highlight the negative impact that factory farm methods have on animal welfare and on the environment. There will be a liberation celebration with some chicken themed fun and games while the Cafe will be serving up some great tasting organic chicken.
15-16th August Glorious Stepney Games
Not just for the gentry, culling wild pests is an essential part of British farming, the proceeds are quite delicious and should be enjoyed by all. Come along to learn more about game meat and challenge your companions to game of welly wanging and other such silliness.
19th -20th Sept Harvest Festival
A celebration for all you veggies out there and a challenge for all you carnivores, learn to love your veggies, understand why we should all eat less meat and experiment with some vegan food during the Urban Food Fortnight.
14th-15th Nov Pig Fest
A true celebration and well done for the hard years work on the farm and time to consider the ongoing problems with the pork industry. Stepney’s happy pigs are a prime example of good husbandry and farming practices, so join them in their celebration where you will be able to taste the difference at the cafe.