It is with a big smile from ear to ear that I write this post, because our lovely Hive Cafe has just been announced as the winner of a 2014 Soil Association Organic Award under the Eating Out category. This amazing accolade comes less than six months after we opened our doors for the first time and we couldn’t be happier.

It’s been a tremendous amount of work to come this far and most excitingly; this is only just the beginning. The café is embodiment of a vision where organic, ethical and local food choices are part of everyday life at the University of Roehampton.

This award could not be better timed to co-incide with the recent launch of our new community coffee mornings. We now open our doors to local people in Roehampton every Saturday from 10am- 2pm for brunch, tea and coffee, naughty pastries and all things Hive-a-licious. This is in addition to our usual monday to Friday trading hours of 8.30am- 4pm.

Sometimes it’s almost a little unbelievable to think that after six months of planning and six weeks of construction, The Hive Cafe opened in May earlier this year and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The Hive is at the heart of our Growhampton sustainability initiative, which is all about engaging people about how food is grown and where it comes from.  

Vegetables are grown according to organic principles by students on our edible campus and sold at a weekly farmers’ market – grown on campus, sold on campus! Yep, absolutely zero food miles there folks! Some of this produce also forms the ingredients for sandwiches produced through our partnership with Roehampton based charity Regenerate and The Feel Good Bakery – a mere 0.7 miles from our gardens to their kitchen. Amazing stuff.

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On behalf of everyone from Growhampton, a very big thank you for voting for The Hive in the Soil Association awards and helping us win this amazing award. There’s been so much happening in our world lately that I’ve barely written about growing at all for the past few weeks! It is on that note that I promise to return next week with some thoughts about growing autumn planted broad beans. 

Joel Williams is the Grower for the University of Roehampton Students’ Union’s Growhampton project