Tuesday 29 May 2012

SEA News Update -- Especially Victoria Gardens

As a small group still, based in Cornwall, just over the big bridge from Plymouth, this year we are keeping Local Food as our main focus, with the overall project being called, because we couldn't come up with anything catchier, Incredible Edible Saltash. Other areas of transition are mostly kept for the newsletter and monthly social evenings.

Our most exiting news is that we finally got written permission from the town council to have a SEA/ Transition bed at Victoria Gardens at the top of Fore Street. This was just 2 weeks before the Olympic Flame coming through our town [right past Victoria Gardens ] -- and they asked if we could sort it out by then!!!
Photo 1 Busy Clearing the Bed

We thought this would be quite impossible, but by a huge effort on the part of some of our members, we did in fact managed to get the bed transformed in time. Rapidly, our plans for a key hole bed (which utilises water and nutrients in a careful way) were finalised, and exactly a week before the

Photo 2 A Family Affair
Flame, we spent the Saturday morning (families and all!) clearing the bed (replanting those plants that we thought might survive)

{See Photos 1 & 2}, and creating the new Key Hole Bed.
Photo 3 Our Bed Ready for the Torch Procession
Photo 4 Our Bed Ready for the Torch Procession

Then over the next few days we planted what we had available -- compromises had to be made regarding buying in some plants to make a splash for the Torch Relay {See Photos 3 & 4}, since unfortunately most of those being prepared in our greenhouses were still quite small. The locals were very helpful regarding providing water, which was needed by the gallon!

A sign was painted and erected, and by the time the Procession came through, all was ready, with an explanatory notice {See Photo 5}. Leaflets were distributed to as many spectators as possible, and many people congratulated us on the transformation we’d made, and said what a good idea it all was.
Photo 5 Our Explanatory Notice
Of course, the bed is only just begun as yet, but we've made a good start [look out for a later photo of the final effect]. The aim of the bed is to fill it with an attractive mixture of
a). Vegetables, which when ready, would be available for people to pick, and discover how wonderful they taste when fresh -- this is part of our plan to encourage people to grow their own; and
b). Butterfly- and Bee-Friendly Flowers, to help our declining Pollinating Insects, and to show people how easy it is to grow beautiful flowers which yet help the insects.

We are also running a Front Garden Veg Challenge, encouraging people to grow some veg in their front gardens, with a prize for the best transformation.

The 2 planters on fore street with no owner were guerrilla gardened one evening. And soon the town council planters will, for the third year running, have veg + herbs plants amongst the annual flowers.

Our small orchard is still well tended and we have been offered an opportunity to grow something on the edge of Ellwell Woods, a north facing slope, so an interesting challenge.

Claire and Louise, 20th May 2012

Update 31st May, Victoria Gardens
Yesterday many hours were spent planning out the final bed [as opposed to our rushed job to get something ready for the Olympic Torch], planting many of the plants which had been grown by committee members, and buying more, using the grant that the Council kindly gave us.  So now the bed is in its final form {See Photo 6}, and we await the growing up of the vegetable and bee-friendly plants.  We would like to thank all the residents of the area who spontaneaously came and watered our new plants during the hot weather we had last week, and since.  This is a real sign of Community Spirit, the fostering of which is such an important part of the Transition Movement.
Photo 6 -- The Final Bed Just Planted

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi. I wondered if I might be able to do a short interview with someone about your Incredible Edible project for this month's Transition podcast? Should only take a few minutes and it is a great story that I'd love to be able to feature...
Rob Hopkins, Transition Network (rob@transitionculture.org).

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