People will be able to buy fresh produce from a community farm in Dagenham for the first time since the pandemic began from this week.

The organic Dagenham Farm is setting up a weekly stall in Central Park to sell fruit and vegetables grown on-site and harvested just hours before they go on sale.

Dagenham Farm head grower Alice Holden said: "Just-picked food tastes amazing and is really good for you because it’s full of nutrients.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Some of the vegetables and flowers grown at Dagenham Farm that will be for sale at the stall.Some of the vegetables and flowers grown at Dagenham Farm that will be for sale at the stall. (Image: Growing Communities)

“We’re very excited that people who live near the farm will be able to enjoy the fantastic produce we grow here.”

The stall will be open every Friday between 11am and 1pm next to the Dagenham Rugby Club car park, beginning on August 13.

It will offer the community seasonal produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, salad leaves, fruit, flowers and plants.

DeeDee Aitken will run the stall alongside trainees Raegina Peters and Gemma Cunningham, who are learning how to grow food at the 1.7-acre community farm on the edge of Central Park through the government’s Kickstart programme.

“Selling food is a crucial skill for farmers,” DeeDee said.

“This will enable Gemma and Rae to develop their presentation and retail skills, while talking to their neighbours about how they grew the food and what makes the farm special.”

The farm was set up in Central Park Nursery, off Rainham Road North, Dagenham by social enterprise Growing Communities in 2012.

It grows produce in glasshouses, polytunnels and outdoors as well as doing community outreach work.

Growing Communities says it is now one of London’s most productive urban farms, producing more than five tonnes of fruit and veg every year.

Before the Covid pandemic, the farm was running a weekly stall during the summer selling produce at the nearby Dagenham East Tube station.

Well-known chef Jamie Oliver visited Dagenham Farm in 2019 to film for his television show Jamie's Meat-Free Meals.

During the pandemic, Growing Communities provided healthy ready meals, meal kits and online cooking sessions to families in the area surrounding Dagenham Farm through its FoodNet project with William Bellamy Children’s Centre.