Are you looking to join a crew of delivery-based activists?
We’re looking for 5/6 new core team members who will come along and support our gardens in the city, Avonmouth and Speedwell, as well as various other spaces we support and can commit to two 4-hour sessions per month!
You don’t need to know anything about growing other than that in a city, it’s a form of deliverable activism that can also support food justice and social and climate justice!!
If you’re interested, drop an email to email@example.com, and we’ll get back to you!!
Look forward to getting growing!
Are you looking to join a crew of delivery-based activists?
As we head towards October, it’s time to recruit our next team of core community gardeners.
This team works across the city gardens in Avonmouth, Millennium Square, Castle Park and Speedwell and will be key to an exciting new garden coming on board in 2023. The commitment is two-hour work parties per month, and our commitment in return is to share our skills and knowledge so within a year, each community gardener feels they have learned enough to start their own garden, allotment, balcony garden or even community garden!!
If you think this might be for you, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get back with further details and how to sign up.
Numbers are limited as we want our core team to have the best experience possible, so don’t delay if you are interested.
As we head into the new year we are starting to open up opportunities for new core team members.
Our core team are the community gardeners that make all this work possible. They join us at work parties, at events and in gardens that we are supporting and get the occasional opportunity to visit places with us. And alongside that we promise to support them to learn growing skills, taking them with us on the journey of the seasons, sowing, propagating, planting out crops, maintaining them and then of course harvesting. Core team members need nothing but enthusiasm when they join us, and our gift to them is a year of practical horticultural skills……
To join the core team a commitment to join two of our four hour work parties per month is needed, but there’s no need for any skills or tools as we will bring those with us, to you.
Do you think this might be you? If you would like further information please do get in touch with us and we can have a conversation. The email to get in touch with us on is email@example.com
Our core team of community gardeners is core to our work in and around the city centre spaces and we are looking to grow the team that supports the gardens in Millennium Square and in Castle Park on Thursdays from 10-2.
The core team is made up of people who are able to commit to 2 of our 4-hour work parties each month and in return learn all about the systems of growing we use to ensure we’re growing good food for people and for pollinators, whilst at the same time building soil health, and planting to support the climate.
The gardens in Millennium Square have been through a difficult time in the last few months, neglected during the lockdowns and vandalised for the first time ever by visiting football fans, so this opportunity to begin with us just got those gardens on a Thursday, although it’s possible other gardens may need support too over the next few months. So if you can spare 2 Thursdays from 10-2 per month, and would like to get involved with Edible Bristol, and our call for community-based change in our food system, why not get in touch? Just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The last year has been incredibly challenging for everyone and whilst we have continued to grow food and ensure it gets to those who needed and continue to need it, in order to keep everyone safe we have been unable to offer the drop in volunteer community gardening that is at the very core of our ethos. And we have found that really challenging, because it has felt not unlike a betrayal. However, as we move towards an opening up of restrictions we have decided that it’s time to create more drop in type work parties for people to come along and get involved.
We know that being outside is much less risky, but we also are very aware that even within our small team of community gardeners there are mixed feelings about finding ourselves in a position where we have no real clue what normal really is, so we have decided upon a controlled way of opening up, that will open opportunities but take everyone’s concerns into consideration.
From 31st May we will b opening up to more volunteering and whilst it won’t just be show up and get involved it will mean more opportunities for everyone to get involved. The process will involve all our work parties being advertised both here on events and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and we will ask you to drop us an email to email@example.com if you would like to come along to a specific work party. We will then get back to you with a really simple health and safety form and once you have returned that you will be booked into the work party. We do understand that that process may feel a tad clunky, and we hope to be able to return to simple drop ins within the next few months. Bear with us!!
And for those who may not have volunteered with us before, everyone is welcome, you need no experience or skills, we will provide tools and all you need to do is turn up and get involved. At the moment we are asking that you bring your own refreshments but we do hope to get back to offering teas and coffees soon.
The first work parties will drop next week and we can’t wait to see you in a garden soon.
We are beginning a project that will include us reinvigorating the Bearpit Garden and have secured funds for a short-term project to look at inclusion in the garden and barriers to inclusion. The job description is below along with details of how to apply. We look forward to hearing from you!
Here is our plan for the next few weeks in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisisRefocus on becoming food producers and creating learning opportunities for people wanting to begin to grow.
Led by our Head Gardeners, our spaces in both Speedwell and Avonmouth will concentrate on becoming as productive as possible and providing food directly into their communities.
Our core team will work with the safety parameters to make sure this happens and we will continue to share our stories through our website and to social media channels.
Our aim is also to grow enough plant material to ensure that the city centre gardens can be made as productive as possible as soon as we can get back into them safely, ensuring there is a fresh food available across the city as soon as the crisis calms.
We are suggesting to people that there are several ways to get involved.
Firstly, follow our social media for information about growing and how to start in your space, whether it’s a tiny balcony, a small garden or an allotment plot.
If you have seedlings that are surplus to requirement please let us know and we will ensure they get well used.
If you want to volunteer we will have plenty of opportunities once the crisis is over, but in the meantime FareShare South West are looking for people to help ensure our most vulnerable friends and neighbours have access to food, and farms are desperate for pickers, which will be paid work. We’ll post opportunities to our social media platforms.
And finally, we urge everyone to stay at home, stay well and stay safe.
As we head into 2020 we thought it might be good to look back at our achievements in 2019 and look at plans coming in 2020. In many ways 2019 was a difficult year so before we go onto achievements we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone across the city who helped and supported us through last year.
Last year saw our work with Severnside Community Rail Partnership increase as we supported the creation of the Secret Garden at Avonmouth station, working with community payback groups and corporate volunteers. The garden, under the supervision of our facilitator Luke, has gone from strength to strength, and is supporting lunch clubs at Avonmouth Community Centre with vegetables. This year will see us continue to work with the local community to grow more food and the garden continue to support outdoor learning and experiences in the Avonmouth area.
The work across the Urban Food Trail continued and the gardens are now becoming well established. The trees in Millennium Square saw their first good crop of fruit and many of the perennial plants really began to crop well. As we move forwards the Millennium Square gardens will be seeing a redesign over the next months, but we will ensure they remain as productive as possible.
Work in the Bearpit was put on hold for most of last year as we felt it was an unsafe space for our volunteers but once Bristol City Council had cleaned the space and it became safer we spent a few work parties down there, beginning a big tidy up and bringing the garden back to where it ought to be. Again as we step into 2020 we will be continuing this work, bringing food and nature to the city centre and working to create an urban harvest that is available to the whole city.
Another project we were thrilled to be a part of was the city centre’s Business Improvement District’s Greener Bristol campaign, which saw 36 individual raised beds installed a cross the city, all growing fresh herbs, fruit, salads and vegetables for people to help themselves to. This has been a fantastically successful project and we look forward to working on the beds as the year continues. We will be adding both nature friendly plants that support pollinators in the city and more vegetables and edible flowers to the beds over the coming months and invite everyone to help themselves to the crops.
We also engaged with our first team of core volunteers who are all committed to joining us at least once per month and to whom we offer some more structured learning about all things food growing and Incredible. We will be taking in new core volunteers every six months or so, with the next team being advertised for later in January and it has been fantastic to meet and work with such a great bunch of people and support them to learn more.
Finally this year will be the year we open our Learning Zone at Speedwell Allotments, where we will offer courses and workshops as we were doing previously. We have achieved a massive amount of progress at the site, and will continue to do so in the first few months of 2020, and we are excited to officially open the site and begin to support more people to grow in spaces across the city, and grow well and successfully!!
So as we move into 2020, Happy New Year to you all and here’s to a great year of growing both food and community!!
My name is Ross and I’m an Incredible Edible Bristol volunteer and an Ecologist and I’ve been giving ecological support in the “Secret Garden” at Avonmouth. The aim being to make the space as wildlife friendly and as “buzzing” as possible with the ethos being that by looking out for our flying, crawling, buzzing friends then they will look out for us. Bees, butterflies, beetles, and flies all help pollinate our plants providing us with an abundance of food. And toads, frogs, newts, reptiles and hedgehogs all provide an effective means of pest control. And birds, well they’re just there to cheer us up mostly.
So far, we’ve created a range of habitat types to encourage a range of species to the garden and we have plans to create many more. All have been created using found/salvaged materials.
Bug hotel/hedgehog house
Every garden should have a bug hotel! And the bug hotel at Avonmouth is shaping up to be something special/ We are creating a series of hexagonal rooms filled with organic matter to provide homes for a variety of invertebrates. When finished the bug hotel will look like a gigantic honeycomb.
The lower levels of the hotel will resemble a forest floor with lots of dead or decaying organic matter such as deadwood, leaves, straw, moss, lichen, bark, soil and sand as well as rocks, stones and old roofing tiles (for frogs and toads). Different species like different environments and we are trying to cater for as many as possible. We have also integrated a hedgehog house.
The upper levels will mostly be aimed at providing houses for our solitary bees. There are over 260 species of bee in the UK and most of them are solitary such as mining and mason bees. They like to lay their eggs in thin narrow chambers and bamboo is ideal for this. Be weary when buying off-the-shelf bee hotels as more often than not the size of the holes are too large for our native species. We have also drilled different sized holes into logs which provides the same purpose.
Our bug hotel is an ongoing project with the honeycomb shape making it easier to add more and more rooms whenever we get chance to make them. My dream is for us to create the first bug hotel to be visible from space!
To try and encourage more birds we have sited a number of feeders around the site and have built a number of nesting boxes. Ideally, we will have a number of feeders at different levels to cater for different species. The feeders have been put up close to vegetation making it easier for the birds to hide if they get nervous.
Everybody knows that bees and butterflies help to pollinate plants but did you that flies, especially hoverflies, are all also play an important role as well? A lot of hoverflies are bee mimics so take a closer look – what you think is a bee could quite possibly be a fly. To try and encourage more hoverflies into the garden we have created a hoverfly lagoon. This involves filling a bucket or other receptacle – we’ve used a large fancy looking planter – with organic matter such as fallen leaves or grass cuttings and topping up with water to make a potentially pungent soup (I quite like the smell but maybe I’m weird) and having sticks or branches protruding out of the top. The aim is to encourage some species of hoverfly to lay their eggs into the mixture where they will hatch into the charmingly named rat-tailed maggots (named for their snorkel like appending sticking out of their rear-end). Once ready they will climb the protruding sticks and metamorphosise in to their final form.
We have also left a section of the garden to just do it’s own thing. As it turns out this means brambles! But brambles shouldn’t be feared, not only to they provide us with delicious fruit but also provide protection for small birds and mammals. And as parts of the plant dies off the dead branches can provide habitat for some bee species.
The next major project is to create a pond to provide drinking water for wildlife and a habitat for many other species that are beneficial to gardens such as amphibians (slug eaters), dragonflies (midge and mosquito eaters) amongst others.
Once this is in place we will then create a bee and butterfly bank, effectively a large pile of sand and aggregate with limestone shelves and some strategic planting. Some species of bee like to dig their own holes and the reflective limestone is ideal for butterflies and dragonflies to perch upon and warm up.
The garden is in a heavily industrialised part of the city and it is our aim to create an oasis for both people and nature (people are nature too btw) to coexist.
So watch this space….
Our work parties will now be on regular dates throughout each month, beginning in May 2019!!
1st Thursday Millennium Square
1st Friday Severn Beach Line
1st Saturday Quakers Burial Ground
2nd Thursday Urban Food Trail-more info on Facebook event and at ediblebristol.org.uk
2nd Saturday Edible Fishponds at Straits Parade
3rd Wednesday The Bearpit Garden
3rd Thursday The Incredible Learning Zone at Speedwell Allotments
3rd Saturday Millennium Square
4th Thursday Castle Park
4th Saturday The Incredible Learning Zone at Speedwell Allotments.
Everyone is welcome to any of our work parties, for as long or short a time as you would like to stay. However, under 16’s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please make sure you are wearing covered shoes to any work party you attend.
Further info about all these work parties can be found on Facebook and at ediblebristol.org.uk.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org