We are very chuffed indeed to introduce our resident horticulturist Abby Nicol. She comes to us fresh from Panel Organics, a very local vegetable farm so she not only knows her subject but also understands local growing conditions. We were awarded a grant by the Foreshore Trust to contract an expert to help engage local residents and teach us all more about making a productive vegetable garden. The applicants were all good but Abby’s energy, enthusiasm and immediate grasp of our goals in the Moveable Feast Garden made her the obvious choice. She’s a great combination of feisty and engagingly friendly – just what’s needed in Western Road!
Shifting barrows of gravel
Heaving bales of straw
Singing with Los Pasionarias
Abby’s first big task was to organise the Winter Garden Party…see next post!
This is a quick post. The garden opened last night and the team effort has achieved a staggering amount in the past week. We started as a group of women with a plan and now there’s a community garden but we couldn’t have done it without the men who came to help us. It’s great that they weren’t fazed by joining up with the Wonky WI – so thanks Kevin, Mark and Peter in particular.
We’ve got tons of great pictures but I wanted to quickly put this one up.
We had more trees than we were expecting delivered at lunchtime so spent a couple of hours of concerted effort clearing a new area, getting tyres, having more compost delivered, and planting them out.
It was beautiful to see happy children playing tag around them 3 hours later!
More pictures to follow soon.
One sad thing – our thoughts go out to the insprational Incredible Edible in Todmorden who have experienced terrible flooding which must have swept much of their planting away.
The past month has been a bit of a slog to be honest. We’ve shovelled hardcore, carried buckets of bricks and raked up things we would rather not have. The weather has thrown everything but snow at us and though none of us would have chosen it we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. We feel like we belong here now, in a way we never would have if professionals had prepared the site for us. Now we’re ready to grow.
I picked up plants we bought from Friary Gardeners then Nicole and I went to the Hastings Garden Centre to choose our £200 worth of plants. We did a bit of a ‘garden centre sweep’, smiled for the photographer and raced back to offload. Half an hour later I planted our first plant,a bronze fennel, in our herb bed.
We had so many new people come over to see what’s happening and half our time is now spent talking and explaining this wonderful community garden idea to passers by. The concept of a group of people clearing away the ugly and inviting people they’ve never met in, to grow and share will take a while for some to grasp. Others simply get it straight away and before we have time to finish the intro they’re asking where the gardening gloves are and filling a wheelbarrow.
On Monday a team from Quadron Services came to help us in a big way and one of them was the actual Mayor of Hastings who shovelled shingle in a high viz jacket alongside the rest of us all morning.
The BBC have been in touch and plan to come and film us for BBC South East on Friday.
And so it grows.
Our new friend Peter was a stalwart of last week’s doomed shed building and took its destruction on the chin. So he’d absolutely earned the fun he had recreating our logo today by planting up the abandoned shopping trolley we found on the site.
When we thought about making a garden we pictured it GREEN with produce overflowing the containers and covering the white plastic-ness of them. There were vegetables everywhere and fruit and flowers and birds & bees. And there will be – but not quite yet.
The garden is open from next Friday and right now there seems an awful lot to do before our vision becomes reality
For instance the garden needs a sign and this is my sort of job.