Edible Park Work Party

Aware as we are that the summer holidays are upon us we will have a seed bomb making activity going on for children whilst the adults get on with work on our edible park!

This session will see the bee garden weeded and we will look at sowing green manures and as well as adding to the herb garden!

Everyone is welcome, and do skills are needed. Strong shoes or boots are needed and if you have gardening gloves or any tools you’d like to bring along, then feel free to do so!!

And even if you don’t fancy gardening, come along and enjoy the space and find out what we are up to!!


Inns Court Easter Fair

We are excited to be attending Inns Court Easter Fair this year and really hope to see lots of people there to chat to about what we are getting up to!!

We’ll be there to talk to folk about our organisation and how they can get involved in it, but we will also be bringing along sunflower seeds, pots and compost so children can sow the seeds and take them home to grow on. The plants can then either be planted out into their gardens or maybe in or around the estate, making little bursts of sunshine everywhere!!

Please do come along and say hi!!



A slightly sad update on our Edible Park

Sadly we have to announce that the bees and their beautiful hive that were in the Edible Park at the Quakers Burial Ground, have had to be, temporarily we hope, rehomed to a safer space. This is due to vandalism of the hive which obviously seriously compromises the safety of our bees and so had to be acted upon immediately. The hive has obviously had rocks thrown at it and been kicked and hit so has gone to a nature reserve on the outskirts off the city where we know it will be safe.

Sadly over the last few months we have had people sleeping both in the park and in the centre of the roundabout by St Mary Redcliffe. We feel it vital to point out that at no time have we had any issues with these people and we have had some great conversations with many of them about what we are doing and why. Not once have we come up against any negativity from them. However, it seems to us that all of these people, whilst desperately needing to access housing, also need addiction, and in many cases mental health help as well and sadly we are not able to offer that, although we are looking to work with agencies that will be able to offer that support.

So here we find ourselves at a bit of an impasse. We want our spaces to be inclusive and feel safe and accessible to all, but with the present situation we know that isn’t possible for everyone to feel. We want all our volunteers to come along to our work parties and enjoy themselves whilst learning and joining in with growing food in a safe and happy space but right now the Edible Park doesn’t always feel like that space.

So what are we going to do?

Well the one thing we are not going to do is give up!!IMG_4297

So far in the park we have spent weeks and weeks cutting back and removing overgrown shrubs to open up the space. We have taken out lots of overgrown ivy and piles and piles of weeds including beginning an ongoing battle with ground elder which we will make sure we win. We have planted over a thousand bulbs that will flower in spring, originally creating forage for our bees but avilable to all pollinators in the area. We have created an area for planting in early spring that will be full of perennial crops and the area at the back of the park that looks made to be a rockery is slowly being cleared so that we can use it for herbs in the spring and summer of next year. We have also planted apple trees and crab apple trees that are being trained into espaliers andare planing early spring sowings of pollinator friendly plants for around those fruit trees. We have linked into Avon Wildlife Trusts My Wild City project that has seen us plant some of the amazing plantes grown at Feed Bristol for that project, which is meaning we are a part of that exciting network of pollinator friendly planting across the city. We have added bird feeders and boxes.

So what we are going to do is ask for the support of the city.

And by that we do not mean financial support. What we mean is positive support. Come along and find out about what we are doing, where and why. Learn about our three spinning plates and how we are constantly fighting to keep them all spinning. Find out about how your children can access our education programme and ask your schools to get involved. Discover our food waste programme.  But most importantly become a part of our Incredible Edible family, which reaches 120 towns and cities in the UK and over 700 places worldwide. And all you have to do is eat, because “if you eat, you’re in”



What Happened on Apple Day?!

Perhaps we had become used to the glorious autumn weather we have been having, but until 48 hours before the Apple Day events at the Edible Park, it hadn’t crossed our minds to check the weather forecast. So when we did and it announced unforgiving and relentless rain, there was almost a feeling that it might not be true. The forecasters didn’t change their predictions though so it was with heavy hearts that on the morning of the event we had no choice but to pare it down to a simple, and very soggy, planting session.


Our wonderful volunteers getting soaked planting bee friendly bulbs

As those of you who have visted the park will be aware, we have been really busy taking out a huge amount of overgrown shrubs and finsing out what sort of space there really is in the raised areas of the park, as well as what is best suited to where. We are almost there with the destruction phase and so part of the point of Apple Day was to begin to replant where we had removed things. With this in mind we set about buying some beautifully British grown eating and crab apples and preparing to plant them and then train them as espaliers. Espaliers are a great way of growing fruit in limited space, and by creating horizontal arms the trees become immensely productive due to the ways in which the plants hormones work. There will be more on that in a later post.

So we set about planting these trees in what began as drizzle but ended up as pretty torrential rain. We were also planting bulbs and lavenders for our new bee hive, installed and looked after by Bee the Change. The bulbs are all pollinator friendly, and in the late winter and early spring when the bees won’t want to travel far, will be like them having a diner right outside their door. crocus, daft, tulips, alliums and more have all been planted and should be a riot of colour from early spring through to April and May when other plantings will start to provide food for our bees.

Banging in stakes for the eating apples to be trained into espaliers

Banging in stakes for the eating apples to be trained into espaliers

Due to the appalling weather we didn’t get around to doing the espalier work and so that will happen over the next week or so, but in the meantime please start to enjoy the space as it is regenerated into an area that is both people and wildlife friendly.

And we must also mention the amazing volunteers who supported uby coming out and helping us. You are all amazing and we are overwhelmed by the support that you are giving us to create an edible and pollinator rich city.

Millennium Square Work Party

Our Urban Allotments are alays in need of maintenance and this session will see us finishing off clearing the beds of summer crops and tidying up in order to be able to prepare the beds for overwintering.

We will be sowing our second successional crop of broad beans as well…..

All are welcome but under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.0

Pollinators Poll: Wildflowers v Wasteland?

pollinator-choiceSo we’ve been talking through various ideas, aims and project plans for 2015. Many of these are simply about continuing and expanding what we started this year, but some (to do with Pollinators and the Pollination story) involve new ideas and initiatives that we’d love to see happen. We have a chance now to apply for a small amount of Green Capital funding which along with volunteer hours, donations in kind and a fired up community of IEBers could easily make these ideas a reality. So – the question is…

Are you in!? Do we have your support?

This question is important not only for idealogical reasons (we are all in this together) but also because the funding application demands ‘evidence that the community wants’ what we’re proposing.

But we don’t have much time, so we figured if we could ask you to respond to this ridunculously simple poll, and ideally, ask your friends to do the same, we will get the evidence we need to add to the application and hopefully secure the funding, and then we can share what we’re thinking and get your more detailed input via comments on this post, and in person, at the Incredible Afternoon celebration at Trinity on October 19th.  So the proposed theme for next year’s project is Bees, Flowers, Honey, Food – Bristol’s Pollination Story. And here’s the poll:

Q.: Which would you rather have around Bristol?