Orchard Marketplace 2

Highbury Orchard Community is a Community Interest Company, and the community we serve includes you! It provides opportunities for people to connect with the great outdoors, and especially for those whose lives are more stressed than most people’s. We are in partnership Right Start, Moseley supporting people in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, and with Kinmos supporting people with mental health difficulties.

As a social enterprise, the company is set up as as not-for-profit business, aiming to earn its own way while providing affordable and accessible services to our community. At present, our income is mostly from Trust funds and community grants. Our trading is limited to a few products associated with the land at Highbury, and to a few activity programmes like Woodland Play. Over time we aim to expand both the variety and quantity of items we offer. Our long term aim is to become economically self-sufficient by coordinating with other organisations on the Highbury estate and our communities to deliver a range of services and products.


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We are Bee Landlords for Sharif Khan who produces honey from hives all across South Birmingham. He regularly wins local prizes for his honey and in 2014 came second nationally. The honey from Orchard hives is handled separately from honey collected from other hives, and the jars are labeled as Highbury honey.  Sharif sells direct, but also provides us with  1lb jars, which we mainly sell at All Saints Centre Cafe, Armadillo and Kings Heath Food Assembly. Sharif also makes beeswax products such as lip balms, candles and polishes. We can arrange to sell these too! If you would like to buy other than at the market, please phone Liz or David on 0121 293 8973 or email hoccic@gmail.com.


We had our first experience of beautiful natural soap when Sue Fownes made some at the Orchard on our Highbury Harvest Day in October 2014. She used freshly picked nettles from our site in the brew, along with organically grown olive oil. So we now have small blocks of soap to sell, as part of Sue’s Pacha Puro range. Sue is longing to share her skills with people in this area, and now Rachel has joined her to help promote the products. If you would be interested to learn how to make cleaning and skin-care products, please contact Liz or David at hoccic@gmail.com. We are gathering a group of people who have expressed interest, and intend to offer a soap-making workshop on the Highbury estate in 2015.

Accessories for the Outdoors

Here in Highbury Orchard Community we’re very keen for our friends to come outdoors and connect with the natural world. The Norwegians say: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only a poor choice of clothing. So we’re hoping to engage a group of crafters (knitters and crocheters mostly) to create warm hats, scarves, gloves and welly socks to keep everyone warm and comfortable.  If you belong to a knitting circle or something similar, please get in touch at hoccic@gmail.com. I (Liz) couldn’t keep my hands still for long and have already produced several multicoloured hats ready to be lined with cosy fleece or cotton jersey. We’re also looking for a suitable local outlet to sell these items before the cold weather is over! If you know of any, please get in touch!

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Curently, Woodland Play is our leading  offer. We hold outdoor learning sessions for home-schooling families on Wednesday afternoons, and for children aged 5 – 8 and their families also on Wednesdays after school. Sessions run during term times only.  See our Woodland Play category for examples. We have produced The Highbury Handbook of Outdoor Learning: discovering the park as a resource which is available to people who want to help children connect with nature. There is information in there specific to Highbury Park, but it would be useful when visiting any park or open space. This has been made possible through Awards for All funding in 2013-2014. Look out for it at Kings Heath farmers market, and other occasons, or ask Liz for a free copy.

Adventure Vouchers

This is a new idea still in the making. For those who would love to give a special outdoor experience to family or friends, we have created the Adventure Voucher. It buys a special time in the park for a private group to explore the natural world through a variety of activities, crafts and games. We have some basic categories of activity in mind, like woodcraft and wild cooking, but will also co-create your special session with you. Sessions can cater for children and adults, or just adults. A range of  lengths of time will be offered, and prices will vary accordingly.


2 thoughts on “Orchard Marketplace

  1. dina Sep 28,2014 13:03

    hi does the honey you sell come from the bees in highbury park??

  2. SiteMgr Dec 18,2014 23:27

    Indeed it does! The bees live in hives next to the orchard, and fly across the wider area foraging for nectar. We can’t say where they go, but different batches of honey have different fragrances, and sometimes we have ideas about what kinds of flowers they’ve been visiting.

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