Happy Birthday! Crystal Palace food market shines on


Three Lovely Ladies displaying vegetable hats made by children in front of ‘The Handmade Palace’ an art and craft stall at the Crystal Palace Food Market representing 16 local artists. Pic: Larke Soedring Nielsen

We are running out of oil… and then what?

The Crystal Palace Food Market has tackled this issue and others related to it by creating a local market.

If you walk down a small street called Haynes Lane, just on the edge of Bedwardine road in Crystal Palace, you will find a street full of stalls.

This small but busy market is an organisation based on local residents working together for a sustainable future by generating, motivating, and initiating better and healthier alternatives for transport, food, energy, and waste in their community.

The idea was first fostered out of an Annual General Meeting at ‘Transition Town‘ .

This is a movement in which communities are encouraged to move from oil dependence to a sustainable future.

About two years ago Karen Jones, the founder of the Market and a local resident in Crystal Palace, went to one of their meetings and suggested they set up a local food market that would offer sustainable local produce and locally sourced prepared food for a fair price to reduce the usage of fossil fuel.

Along with Rachel De Thample and Laura Marchant-Short they assembled a group of volunteers and advisors to launch the project.

Market founder Karen Jones tells East London Lines about how the market was developed:


This is now a flourishing and popular event with a sincere community spirit that has brought local residents and local business together every Saturday celebrating its 1 year anniversary this month.

The Market’s prime mover is the Transition Town organisation – but it also has a great impact on other aspects of the community.

It follows five pledges: to support small sustainable farmers and local food producers, to promote local growing and community and to create local employment.

The partner project ‘Patchwork Farm’ is a community of five growing gardens. It also runs a stall at the Food Market providing an outlet for local produce together with neighbouring allotments and the surplus from people’s back gardens.

By reinvesting the profits made at the market back into local growing initiatives, it generates more productivity and financial preservation for sustainable food within the community.

Our pictures show the vibrant atmosphere and involvement from the community:

The market includes many small local food businesses and organic farms that cannot compete with large supermarket chains, but are producing high quality food with environmentally-friendly farming methods.

The market also has a free community stall offering a variety of activities for adults and children alike, as well as a small music scene that provides a platform for local songwriters and other musicians.

People involved in the market project speak to East London Lines:

Overall the organisers are attempting to balance the impact of modern industry on the environment and they would encourage Croydon residents with a flair for food, farming, and the community to get involved.

Like what you see? The Market is open every Saturday from 10 AM – 3 PM.

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