Today has been a real mixed bag in terms of my work in Breightmet, the first job of the day was distributing a number of small plastic greenhouses, this was a fairly straight forward affair of knocking on doors and handing them to growers. Next stop was a walk down to Martins with my loaded wheelbarrow to begin seed sowing with him in his garden, Martin has grown a little of his own food previous to this project and naturally got stuck into sowing seeds into trays within a minute or two of my arrival at his house.
Catch ups and plans
After Martins it was back up to the New Lane UCAN centre for a series of short meetings to catch up with and meet newer staff whom I will be working with later in the year, as with last weeks meetings they were succinct, interesting and very productive. When the meetings were over me and Community development worker Carl had a walk up to the Hub site which we are hoping to open as a community food growing resource sometime in May of this year, the site itself is actually on the estate which makes it great in terms of people accessing it, and in terms of the locale where the produce will be grown and eaten.
The main purpose of today’s site visit was a simple one, to take a shovel and dig a few random holes around the site to see what is underneath, luckily for us there is a mixture of soil and stone, which is something we can easily live with.
There’s some Good People on this Estate
After the site visit it was the short journey to Thicketford Brow to plant some fruit trees and deliver some portable greenhouses. Since I hadn’t had any lunch I decided to take up the offer of a brew and a sit down with one of the growers at an old wooden dining table in his front garden, was sat, drank tea, smoked fags and chatted for around half an hour, I was really moved and touched when he explained to me how had helped out his refugee neighbours from the Congo who were covered in machete scars and had lost close family relative to armed Militias, our grower had helped them out by putting plugs on electrical appliances for them, he also showed them how to use a cooker, and helped them out with issues relating to Language, he ended by saying that one or two people on the estate had asked him why he helped them out and he simply answered that they had suffered a lot, and that he would hope that if he were ever in the same situation that someone would help him out. Before heading off home I walked back up the hill and gave some seeds out and another portable greenhouse to growers who lived close to the UCAN centre.