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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.

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