Today has been a real mixed bag of a day where work is concerned, my day began with tidying up the yarden getting it ready for our potting on session later on in the day, after this I broke clay up into powderin the alleyway of the UCAN centre to use in our seed bomb workshop that was also occuring later in the day as part of the centres envirnomental focus. By the time these jobs were done and dusted I had around an hour left before the days activities kicked in, so I used this hour to dig over a patch of garden for a Congolese family who recently moved onto the estate, two of the children in the house helped me to dig over the patch and had great fun doing so.
Seed bombs away!
At twelve midday the kids and Mums started to arrive at the UCAN centre for our summer workshops, first there was a small trickle and then suddenly the UCAN centre was full, and our table outside the centre was surrounded children queuing up to make seed bombs. As expected it was a noisy, messy and exitable affair that yielded around a hundred seed bombs which were taken by the children at the end of the session to throw in their gardens, and with any luck the seedbombs will grow into healthy salads and herbs.
Whilst we ran the seedbomb workshop outside the front of the UCAN centre, a seed sowing and potting session was in full swing in the back yard of the UCAN, both sessions were very well attended with residents leaving the centre with dozens of pots loaded with salad leaf and herb seeds, and as i mentioned above over a hundred seed bombs.
To me the idea of local food isnt about market friendly ethical buying choices, sure enough it is a good thing to support local growers by paying a little extra if you can, but where there are no local growers and little in the way of income and access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and the nearest supermarket being almost a mile away from the estate we need a more direct and resiliant route, for our scenario it is about food that is grown and eaten in the community by the community who grew it, so it was really exciting for us when Catherine one of our growers called me over to her houses in the late afternoon to show me the potatoes that they had grown and were going to have for tea that evening.
Growers video diary: Damiens garden
One of things we are really interested in doing as much as possible this is to make short video diaries about our growers experiences of growing there own food for the first time, this is useful both as a reasearch tool for planning future growing projects and as a historal time slice of us coming out of an era where we have been completely seperated from the food that sustains to the newly developing emergance of urban agriculture that is gathering momentum globally. Today I was lucky enough to spend a couple of minutes making a short video with Damian one of growers who has taken to food growing in a big way in his back garden, but dont take my word for it, check the video out here.