Plans for the garden

29 Jan 2013

Over the Christmas period, things were fairly quiet, with people on holidays or having too much to do before the break but things have started to pick up again. Having said that, it has been understandably quiet on the market as people were waiting for pay day and we had snow here for a couple of weeks. At the date of writing, there are just three weeks left of the stall but as explained before, I am waiting to hear about the competition and there are other options should it not be successful.

The two garden plans have got going again and for the organic garden in Wednesfield, residents whose gardens join onto the garden have been notified and all have shown their support for it. The next stage is to get the word around more then hold a meeting to tell more details about it and start seeing who would like to be involved in various ways. The herb garden plans are also in progress and I hope to tell you more about these two ventures soon.

So there is a positive vision for the forthcoming year but already, I’m thinking about what should happen once these are set up. You might be thinking ‘Hold on! Just concentrate on these for now!’ but anyone who knows me will know that I want to see things happen as soon as possible. 🙂 Things that I have in mind include helping out with the Friends of the Earth group in the city to create bee-friendly areas and to add to the environment projects, I’d like to develop an initiative like Incredible Edible. As you will see, this is something that already has a strong framework and one that we could get straight into at least when spring arrives.

To go along with the Crafts venture, I would also like to set up one or even a few workshops where people could come along and experiment with making things, largely using materials donated and unwanted objects to nurture creativity more and so that more people could sell what they make in the forthcoming shop. It would also be to promote sharing skills with each other and generally enjoying being together and doing something worthwhile.

I attended an asset transfer meeting last week to talk about the process of acquiring council buildings for community use. This is due to develop more in the next few months by the team who work in this area and it will be useful to know exactly what assets are available and what we could do with them.

So, as I said, it looks like it’s going to be an exciting year and I hope that we can get lots of people involved in these ideas, or other ideas that other people propose and which follow the principles of Our Own Future.

11 Feb 2013

Today we had a meeting to discuss the organic garden in Wednesfield. We talked about the design and what buildings we’ll want to include. Below is a draft plan for the site and I’ll explain the separate things here in more detail.

The lengths of the sides are approximate and due to its orientation, I decided the buildings should go along the north face to avoid shade from them regarding the trajectory of the sun. As all around it is bordered with garden fences and thus causing shadows along the south face especially, it would be good to keep a wild area there for the little creatures to live and also to attract pollinating insects such as bees.
To make it self-sufficient, we will ask the neighbouring residents if we could extend their gutters to collect rainwater. If this is not possible, maybe instead we could keep a water butt under their drainpipes. Other water butts would collect water from our buildings inside the garden.
With the buildings, the sizes I’ve put are approximations of what I think would be good sizes. Too big would mean less growing space so the most functional sizes would be best.
As Wednesfield High School would like to continue their soup kitchen project for the homeless, we will allocate an area for them and support them to grow organically, too.
In terms of the main garden area, this is up for discussion as how best to lay it out. It can include raised beds and will need a compost area and pathways.
If you have any ideas for what we could include to make it as effective as possible, please send a message to me on the facebook page or to the usual email address .

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