Thursday, 10 September 2009

Castle Garden Project

I've just started at the Castle to co-ordinate a garden project to make use of the lovely green space outside the centre. Whilst I've been climbing there these past couple of years, I've often thought about what could be planted out there; should I "guerilla" garden some fruit trees or sneakily throw around some vegetable seeds. Before I knew it, they launched an environmental policy part of which they want to make use of the garden for food growing.. and here I am. It is a very exciting project, and the ideas currently being collected will be part of a community effort between staff, members and the local community.

The initial vision for the garden is to create a food growing area and relaxation area based on
permaculture design principles and environmentally friendly methods such as re-using/recycling materials where possible, organic growing techniques and creating habitats for wildlife.

Some of the idea
s for food growing are to:
  • create a forest garden
  • create raised growing beds to grow fruit, vegetables and herbal teas for the Castle Cafe
  • use the abundant wall space to grow "climbing" and espaliered fruit trees and fruit bushes
  • mini plots for people to grow their own vegetables
  • gardening workshops for staff, members and local community
  • create wildlife areas such as a pond
  • bring in a bee keeper and bee hives and run bee-keeping courses
  • offer a small space to Growing Communities to be part of their "patchwork" farm to grow organic salads for their local box scheme in Stoke Newington. (Some Castle members may have already tried some of their delicious mixed salad leaves at the Castle cafe this week)
Of course this won't be done all at once - and not all by me! The idea is to start small, generate interest and a "gardening team" and start from there. This autumn and winter we will start with developing some areas. I will keep you posted.

I also work f
or Capital Growth A London wide campaign to help create 2012 new community food growing spaces by 2012. The Castle Garden has already registered to be part of this scheme and is space 102!

of re-using materials found at the Castle.

growing beds made by Ray last week at the Castle. We will be ordering some top soil and planting some green veg for winter soon...

Used Castle climbing rope for the Capital Growth display at the
Hampton Court palace Flower show in July this year - on the "freecycled" balcony. For other photos click here

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