There is now a small farm, complete with pigs, sheep and chickens, in the heart of Waterloo. Oasis Farm Waterloo, founded by the Oasis Charity, has opened its gates as a community farm with a five-year lease on what was previously a derelict plot of land.
“We’re very excited to see the plot used for something so different,” said Sally Jacobs, a Waterloo resident who attended the opening with her children. “It’s really nice to see something so different right in the City that the children can enjoy.”
The farm is working in partnership with the Wiltshire-based organisation Jamie’s Farm that works with at risk youth. The farm is also a member of the Oasis Hub Waterloo organisation that includes Oasis Church Waterloo, Oasis Academy Johanna and Oasis Academy South Bank.
“We hoped to create a place of education, a place of teamwork within the community,” said senior minister of Oasis Church, Steve Chalke. “And it has become a part of the curriculum for the Oasis schools. But all of the other schools of the area are welcome as well, and we’ve already seen them signing up.”
Its partnership with the schools will provide students the opportunity to learn about sustainability, and will allow them to grow produce that will be sold at nearby markets and used to sustain the farm. There are also plans to build a tree-top classroom that can be utilised by the Oasis Hub schools and other local schools.
“It will be great for our kids to get a chance to see where our food comes from,” said Waterloo resident Jeff Turner. “And to get a chance to see more sustainable methods of producing that food.”
Throughout the year, the farm will play host to an assortment of farm animals including sheep, cattle and pigs in addition to chickens that will be on site all year round. The animals will serve as learning and therapy tools for the children involved in the farm’s activities.
Students from both Oasis Hub schools and members of the Waterloo community attended the opening where free food and drink were provided throughout the afternoon. A schedule for regular public access to the farm will be established in the autumn.