Barnet Community Garden (BEST)

A project by: Richard Juma

pledged of £39,071 target

This project did not reach its target.

Completion Date: Fri 01 Apr 2016
Barnet Community Garden (BEST)

Barnet Community Garden - project summary

 "Barnet Community Garden" site

The ‘Barnet Community Garden Centre’ Project has sought to widen community participation in conservation and permaculture by researching and developing environmental activities for students and volunteers in Barnet. Barnet Environment Support Team (BEST) will oversee the implementation and management of the project.  A volunteer training and participation model has been established that can be delivered by students / volunteers and easily transferred to other community gardens and green spaces. Groups of volunteers, primary/secondary school students, gardeners, job-seekers, university  goers - graduates/ undergraduates and registered members of BEST will be invited to participate in the weekly practical training sessions conducted by BEST and a qualified tutor from The Permaculture Association (or other educational institution). It is envisaged that the ‘Barnet Community Garden Centre’ Volunteer Development Programme will become self-sustaining and be operated by trained volunteers over the long term.

Project aims

  1. To research, develop and deliver training programmes that will enable Barnet students / volunteers to be effectively involved in conservation projects and permaculture;
  2. To encourage continued participation of Barnet volunteers in community activities through devising projects that support, educate and recognise volunteer contributions to green spaces;
  3. To identify and promote leadership so that volunteers can plan, coordinate and manage the centre's activities and related conservation projects;
  4. To self-empower the youth through community knowledge exchange on permaculture's principles and philosophies.
 "Barnet Community Garden" site

Our Mission…

To provide a platform where the whole community can positively engage with nature (not against), exchange knowledge/skills (to become self sustaining) and become self-empowered through practicing permaculture wherever they go.

Our Vision…

We aim to create a working model of an urban permaculture community garden centre which demonstrates, promotes, educates, celebrates and advocates for environmental and economic sustainability in a healthy, diverse and supportive community. BEST has a vision to permaculture the site using ethical methods. Revegetation along the fenced perimeter and establishment of vegetable gardens with raised beds are the initial plans. Progressively orchards, kitchen gardens, market gardens, a kids area, a kitchen, an office, a workshop, a retail nursery, a green waste recycling centre, a picnic area, chicken yards, art space, native fauna/flora used for culinary and/or medicinal purposes and bird / bee houses will be established on site (based on funding).

We will collaborate with The Permaculture Association, a registered charity, founded in 1983. They support members and the public with advice, support, information and training about the theory and practice of permaculture. Permaculture is a design system inspired by nature. 

What is PERMACULTURE?     In a nutshell..

( )

Permaculture combines three key aspects:

1. An ethical framework

2. Understanding of how nature works, and

3. A design approach

This unique combination is then used to support the creation of sustainable, agriculturally productive, non-polluting and healthy settlements. In many places this means adapting our existing settlements. In other cases it can mean starting from scratch. Both offer interesting challenges and opportunities.

The word 'permaculture' comes from 'permanent agriculture' and 'permanent culture' - it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature. Permanence is not about everything staying the same. Its about stability, about deepening soils and cleaner water, thriving communities in self-reliant regions, biodiverse agriculture and social justice, peace and abundance.

One thing is for sure. Its a fascinating subject, with many aspects, and its still evolving. 

 "Barnet Community Garden" site

The proposed community garden centre will initially run through funding from well-wishers, donations and membership fees. We plan on being self-sufficient within a few years of operation through internal commercial activities such as the garden café, sale of seedlings, sale of our own produce (from what the residents and BEST grow), conservation holidays abroad, and other related project activities.




1. To strengthen the skills of students / volunteers and their confidence in their ability to work effectively;

2. To develop the skills of experienced volunteers who are interested in taking on the roles of coordinating other volunteers and of running volunteer induction and training programmes;

3. To clarify the roles of volunteers and volunteer coordinators;

4. To strengthen community involvement in permaculture, particularly by people who wish to become involved in organic farming and gardening for cultural and social reasons;

5. To increase students / volunteer participation in community projects;

6. To develop stronger links with other permacultarists, conservationists, ecologists, community gardens and to assist them provide training for their volunteers.

    WHAS allotment demonstration of established plot 

Training Programmes

Barnet Environment Support Team (BEST) has developed the following training programmes:-

  1. An Orientation course for new volunteers that introduces them to permaculture, the community garden site and to staff and volunteer coordinators, explains the structure and functioning of BEST, outlines opportunities for volunteering and covers basic Workplace Health and Safety. These induction courses will be held three times a week (Monday, Wednesday & Friday) three weeks in a month and last for approximately 5 hours (including practical sessions volunteering before and after the training).
  2. Volunteer Training Days that provide training in the core principles of permaculture. These will be held twice a week (Thursday, Saturday or Sunday) and run for approximately six hours.
  3. A Volunteer Coordinator Training Programme that builds the skills and confidence of volunteer coordinators so that they can train and coordinate volunteers. This two-day programme will be held weekly, three times a month. 
  4. A Train-the-Trainer Programme for BEST volunteers, interested residents of Barnet, schools, colleges, universities and other community gardens / allotment. This programme provides practical training in small group training techniques, including training needs analysis and creative facilitation techniques. To be held twice a week depending on circumstances.

Community Training Environment

The training programmes have been developed to take full advantage of Barnet Community Garden's ‘living classroom’ of permaculture orchards, organic vegetable gardens, organic nursery, bushfood plantings, and green waste recycling centre, as well as its grass roots, community based structure and organisation.

Thus, for effective delivery, the Volunteer Training Modules in particular, require a garden environment similar to that of other established community gardens. The Volunteer Coordinator Training Programme and the Train the-Trainer Programme, however. are less site specific and can be delivered in non-garden environments.

 "Barnet Community Garden" site

Promoting Community Training & Community Gardening

Word of mouth, email and notices on the volunteers’ noticeboard are used to promote training programmes for volunteers and volunteer coordinators. Train-the-trainer programmes will be promoted also to other community gardens through the BEST Network and to other kindred organisations via email, face to face, YouTube, Facebook and through the website.

Breakdown of costs

*NB> Over 95% of the products and services listed below (breakdown of costs) are sourced from not-for profit charities (The Conservation Volunteers - reg. no.261009, Garden Organic - reg. no.298104, The Permaculture Association - reg. no.1116699)   and a community interest company (Barnet Environment Support Team reg. no.9577075). You will therefore be supporting a wider array of current and future positive work in Uk & beyond.

Training & Assessment visit Fees (Volunteer groups of 10+-)

-Tutor Fees (2½-hour site visit and 1 hour of report writing by the LAND Tutor from Permaculture Association or alternative qualified advisor)@ £135 /  session (plus travel cost (permaculture Association staff @ £15) = £150 (


-Admin & training (BEST – 2 hour on site orientation & training, 1 hour report writing, 1 hour admin & onsite support) fees @100 / session

*(Monday, Wednesday & Friday)

Total Cost / Training & Assessment session / day = £250 (*3 days @ £750)


Design support tutorials: £150 + tutor travel costs (£15) = £165 -Tutor fees (2-hour site visit and 2 hours of remote support by the LAND Tutor).


-Admin & training (BEST – 2 hour onsite orientation & training, 1 hour report writing, 1 hour admin & onsite support) fees @100 / session

*(Saturday or Sunday)

Total Cost / Design support tutorials / day = £265


Grand Total / week (Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat) = £750 + £265 = £1015

2 weeks per month (£1015*2=£2100) in 1 year * 12 months = £25200


Tools & Safety / Gardening Equipment / Gear 

*Sourced fromTCV – The Conservation Volunteers charity (

-Carbon steel 3 piece (Fork* Trowel set) *2 @ £5.25   (£10.5)

-Potting shed collection *2 @ £13.95                              (£27.9)

-Garden set carbon steel 11 piece *2 @66.70                 (£133.4)

(hand trowel, weeding fork &bulb planter-Digging spade & fork, rake, hoe, lawn rake – Secateurs-Garden bag-gloves)

-Moshi monsters garden toolset (for kids) *2  @ £6.99          (£34.95)

-Wheelbarrow*1  – 85lts                 @£49

-Moshi kids wheelbarrow *1            @£26.40

-Watering can *2  @£7.06            (£14.12)

-Dibber (draper) *2 @ 6.04           (£12.08)

-Gloves *12 @ £0.94                       (£11.28)

-Safety Wellies *4 @ £11.88         (£47.52)

-20 person First aid kit @              £12.63

-HI visibility waistcoat *12 @ £2.05 (£24.6)


Grand Total £404.38


Seeds (Flowering mix - butterfly & bee)

*Sourced fromTCV – The Conservation Volunteers charity (

-Woodland wildflower seed mix (100g)    @ £27.11

-Spring flowering meadow mix (100g)       @5.28

-Summer flowering, butterfly & Bee Meadow mix (100g) @6.10

-Clay soils wildflower mix (100g) @          £18.48


*Sourced from Garden Organic charity – Organic catalogue (

(Vegetable, Herbs, Fruit bushes)

-Seed mix(6) bee friendly herbs *2 @£6.95 (£13.9)

-Seed mix (10)beneficial insects, birds *20 @£14.95 (£29.9)

-Seed mix (6) organic roots*4                   @£8.95  (£35.8)

-Seed mix organic fruits *4                       @£8.95 (£35.8)

-Seed mix Herbs basics *4                         @£10.95 (£43.8)

-Seed collection Colourful vegetables *4 @£12.95 (£51.8)

-Organic chilli peppers(4) mix *5              @£4.95 (£19.8)

-Buckwheat (3kg)                             @ £16.25

-Clover alsike (3kg)                          @ £16.25

-Field beans (225g)                          @£2.99

-Onion sets red baron (5 packs) @£23.65

-Garlic red duke (150g)*3 @ £7.25 (21.75)

-Potatoes collection (4) slug resistor 1.5kg *4 @£16.95

-Broccoli claret F1 (48 seeds)                    @£1.92

-Cabbage storehead (95 seeds)                 @£1.49

-Cauliflower candid charm F1 (68 seeds) @£1.92

-Courgette defender F1 (10 seeds)           @£1.49

-Leek crusader (120 seeds)                        @£1.42

-Pepper bell boy F1 (24 seeds)                   @£1.92

-Squash parity (crown prince) F1 (10 seeds) @£2.24

-Tomato fandango F1 (25 seeds)               @ £1.49

-Sweet corn kelvedon glory F1 (48 seeds) @£0.95

-Vegetable amaranth (240 seeds)             @£0.75

-Mixed asparagus crowns(30)                                @£33.90

-Compact fruit garden mix (red currant, gooseberry, raspberry, blackberry) *5 @29.99                                     (£149.95)

-Raspberry autumn treasure (10 pieces)              @ £35.45

-Mushrooms powels assortment                 @ £15.25

-Mushroom oyster spawn (100g)*10          @£6.45 (£64.5)

(Chicken, Composters & Planting necessities)

-Eglu go poultry cage (2m run) 4 hen capacity               @£249

-Grassseed ranger organic poultry (500g) 83sq m @£6.65

-4 Hens @ approximately £30 *4 (£120)

 -Wormery                              @£89.95

-Leaf Mould composter       @ £17.95

-HotBin composter               @£189.95

 -Dial seed sower*5 @£4.55                       (£22.75)

-Dib dab 3in1 (dibber, dibblet & 3 prongs) *2 @10.95 (£21.9)

-Seed plant spacing ruler*2 @£18.95      (£37.9)

-Lolly stick labels (50 pack) *10 @3.25    (£32.5)

-Spiral tree guards *50 @£0.48               (£24)

-Mesh Guard roll  (0.6m*50m) @£0.48   (£72.69)

-Square sawn tree stakes * 20 @ £0.42  (£8.4)

-Bamboo canes *50 @£0.16                       (£8)

-Garden skill polytunnel cloche (5m*0.75m*0.5mhigh) *4 @29.56 (£118.24)

- Organic Composts Deep Black (30 bags 75l / cubic metre)*2 @ £90 (£180)


-Timber for 6 raised beds (10ft(3m)W by 225mm thick) * 24 @10.25 = £246

-Raised bed posts (2ft) @ £0.90 *4 (one bed =£3.6) *6 beds = £21

-Corner bracket kit (40*40*125mm) -4brackets +48 screws) *6 @£2.95 =£17.7



Grand Total = £1891.36


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Group Liability Insurance

-Starting from £83 per year (Zurich)


Stationery and training equipment

*Sourced from

-Ultralon mobile landscape whiteboard magnetic (90 by 60 cm) @£88

-Magnetic board kit (Assorted colour markers, Lightweight magnetic Eraser, coloured magnets, spray cleaner) *5    @£13              (£65)


Grand Total = £153



Project Grand Total / year


 £27,731.74 (based on 2 weeks per month sessions)




£39071.74 (based on 3 weeks per month sessions)


Founder: Richard Umara Juma


Location: West Hendon Allotment Society (WHAS) - Cool Oak Lane NW9

Status: Approved (Barnet Community Garden) and allocated plots to begin project by WHAS commitee on 01/12/15

Barnet Environment Support Team (CIC) was a product of Kombewa Hills Organic Farming - KHOF( a horticultural development project I designed and successfully implemented in Kisumu - Kenya in 2015 with the aim of increasing food security and empowering the youth / local community by providing them with a centralized information system on organic farming. The project is still ongoing and I remotely manage it from London through two farm managers that I’ve trained to incorporate the project’s initiatives. Some picture updates are below.

Barnet Environment Support Team (CIC) was a product of Kombewa Hills Organic Farming - KHOF( a horticultural development project I designed and successfully implemented in Kisumu - Kenya in 2015 with the aim of increasing food security and empowering the youth / local community by providing them with a centralized information system on organic farming. The project is still ongoing and I remotely manage it from London through two farm managers that I’ve trained to incorporate the project’s initiatives. Some picture updates are below.


April 2015 (KHOF passion fruit project- Kisumu - Kenya)

     December 2015Other projects 2015 / ongoing (Pineapple, corn, peanuts, Millet & poultry farming)