I arrived in Breightmet this morning at my usual time of just after eight oclock, the first thing I noticed as I got out of the car close to the UCAN centre was four people stood outside the mini market frantically scratching away at scratch cards, this reminded of a song by band New Model Army called ‘Green and Grey’ such a sad thing to see in one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, but back to the tasks of today as we attempt to tackle this unethical economic mess that is responsible for this state of hopelessness via food growing and the development of community resilience and resourcefulness.
First port of call this morning was a walk down to the Hub site to get some soil for our growers. On arrival at the site I noticed that all of our fruit bushes had been stolen, after a couple of seconds of anger and frustration I thought to myself ‘If someone on the estate is stealing fruit bushes, at least it means that the fruit was likely to stay on the estate, which in a food desert is no bad thing’
The bulk of my day was spent filling large pots with soil, seeds and plants, then delivering them to the houses of the growers in a wheelbarrow and spending time talking to them about their growing. After speaking to a few of the growers it was refreshing to hear that some had been eating strawberries, radishes, salad leaves and peas, there is more work to do here but this is encouraging all the same. When people have been so removed from food, where i comes from and how to grow and prepare it we need to give folk as much support as we can, one of the ways we are doing this is holding an outdoor cooking session where will ask growers and people on the estate to bring a carrot, onion or any other type of vegetable, we will then cook a vegetable curry from scratch, as with any many permaculture interventions into project work, the outcomes are multiple, people learn how to use grow and prepare their produce, they get to eat a healthy meal, and learn new skills and save money along the way.
The return of Bright Meadows
Towards the end of the day I visited three houses on Thicketford Brow to drop off pots and other gardening related stuff, after dropping the last few pots off at the bottom of the Brow I noticed the wildflowers were out throwing colour and shape across the blandscape, I made this short video, my camcorder does it no justice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCtVPBEZ-3I&feature=youtu.be