BENTLEY URBAN FARM (BUF) is the world’s first upcycled market garden. Back in September 2016, the PermaFuture co-operative took over the run-down Horticultural Training Centre behind St Peter’s Church on Bentley High Street.
With help from amazing groups like The Ridge Employability College, the Primary Learning Centre, Bentley Park and our incredible volunteers, we use a range of reclaimed materials (stuff other people would simply consider ‘waste’) to repair, improve and maintain the site.
Over time we have transformed it from an overgrown site in need of repair into a project capable of growing affordable, fresh, healthy local food while creating new opportunities for education, training, skill-sharing, employment and entrepreneurship for the people of Bentley, Doncaster, and beyond.
We are using a range of restorative farming techniques, such as permaculture and hydroponics, to show the full potential of Doncaster as a centre of excellence for ecologically friendly farming. Doncaster has one of the best micro-climates in the north of England and, according to the Soil Association, the most interesting and diverse soil map. We have all the resources we need to grow a range of specialist, high-quality crops across the borough.
BUF is just the beginning. We want people to use the skills they develop at BUF to start their own urban farming projects in each of Doncaster’s many satellite towns — each specialising in crops suitable for their own particular region — to create a Doncaster Urban Farm Network. Get involved with BUF today and you could be running a farm of the future.
In 2018 we were honoured to be recognised with an award from Permaculture Magazine and the Abundant Earth Foundation. This helped us to realise the importance of our work and showed us that we are not alone. There are people all over the world working to build a better, brighter, braver, more compassionate and more ecological world for the benefit of all.