An ask for help

If you read our previous post you will know that we lost our poly tunnel to Storm Ellen and that we were preparing to launch a crowdfunder

Today is the day we launch our campaign. We are asking for £5000, to replace the tunnel, to build it properly so it is secure on our windy site, for compost and for tools. As we move forwards our aim has always been to have a site where we could create more opportunities for people to come along and learn more about food growing, both as communities and individuals, and the poly tunnel is central to that aim and vital for us to continue to propagate plants for the gardens across the city.

So how can you help? We know times are hard, and this especially has been dreadful and continues to be so. But a share to a social media platform, tagging us so we can say thank you, a couple of quid or a mention to your friends and neighbours all really help.

Thus far we have worked on this space for 2 years and we are almost there, with plans to start workshops and courses over the winter months and into the spring but without the tunnel active we cannot continue.

And so we thank you, in advance, for the help we hope you might give, and we look forward to a launch event in spring that will create opportunities for the whole city to get growing.

Disaster at the allotments

Recently we have had something of a disaster but we wanted to share it with you, not for pity, but to show that things go wrong and what’s important is how we pick ourselves up and move forwards.

August and September have been challenging and not least down to, for growers and farmers, the weather. We knew the tranquil warmth of early summer couldn’t last but we hoped it might, but lo and behold two storms in the space of a week caused just a bit of chaos. At the Speedwell site where we are setting up our learning site, disaster struck when Storm Ellen hit, and in a few swoops of her anger, lifted and totally split the cover of the poly tunnel we were gifted at the beginning of the year. And then to add insult to injury in the next three days our beautiful crop of tomatoes were totally annihilated by the blight that hit once the crop was in the open. Disaster and 7 months of growing that crop seemingly down the drain.

So we sulked for a minute. Scratched our heads and rank some tea and decided that rather than spending time and energy on negativity, we needed to find a positive solution. And that is the point of this piece!!

Next Monday we will release a crowdfunding appeal and we hope we will get the support we need to buy and install and new poly tunnel and one that will be more secure and able to cope with a windy urban site and that will enable us to teach more people how they can get involved in the community growing revolution we see across the city.

But why is this important we hear you ask?

Over the course of the pandemic as well as offering online skill sharing we have used the two safe spaces we have to grow food for vulnerable communities. Each week boxes of food grown by our core teams have headed into communities, supported people struggling with food insecurity and ensured communities often forgotten felt seen. From salads through to potatoes, courgettes, chard, kale, corn, pears, beans, peas, beetroot and more have been harvested and given to people. And we want to carry this on, on a much larger scale, now that we can get back into the public gardens. We want them all to be places of abundance, places the whole city sees as a city asset, growing food, sharing skills and being community. But to do this we need a poly tunnel to grow on seedlings, start crops growing and grow those elusive tomatoes, along with peppers, chillies and aubergines, that we all love.

So please watch out for our crowdfunded going live on Monday 28th and share it with your friends and neighbours and get involved with the movement to grow food in all our communities for everyone!!

The day Storm Ellen removed the cover and ripped it to bits.