Its been a mixed bag of work today as is usually the case when the summer begins to leave us and autumn slowly comes towards us. My first job of the day was sowing flat leaf parsley seeds and some American Land cress, both of which are as hard as nails where cold weather is concerned, and both will hopefully provide some much needed fresh greens in the winter diet of our growers.
Working with refugees and asylum seekers
After the seed trays were filled and watered I had a meeting with community development worker Lisa, and Kim from refugee action with a view to holding some allotment sessions for families who have just arrived in Bolton, these sessions will be one part gardening and one part community integration work, if all goes well I will be running these sessions in the spring of 2015.
A quick meeting at the local UCAN centre
At lunch time I walked down to the local UCAN centre and hooked up with centres manager to discuss the possibility of holding a food growing event as part of their open day in the middle of September where we hopefully be able to recruit more growers for the 2015 gardening season, there was a lot of interest at the last small environmental event that we held, so if all goes to plan we should be able to offer help to more people on the estate. On my return from the UCAN centre I cropped half a dozen courgettes from the Hub house’s back garden and gave them to some of the women from the estate who attend a weekly knitting group at the house, they were as well received as last week veg that I gave them, all smiles of exctiment and thanks.
Catching up with the growers
As I mentioned briefly in one of the earlier blog posts for this project, one of our growers recently found out that she is terminally ill, and asked if she could have some flowers in her front garden to brighten the place up and give the space some much needed colour, so I spent some time planting out some winter flowering pansies and violas and having a general chat with her about gardening. After planting these colourful little flowers, I called on Lisa’s house next door and spent some time there checking that their plants were OK, and chatted about cropping potatoes, the next port of call was Tracey and Craigs where we cropped some potatoes, removed netting from their raised bed, bed and watered the plants and spoke about building them a chick coup from wood that Craig is going to scavenge from builders skips on the estate during the next week or so. On my final trip up to the Hub building I dropped a few pots of young carrotts with one of our other growers.