We are pleased to announce that both we and Lewdown Holdings’ solicitors have agreed to an adjournment to the trial until after the end of July 2016. We are awaiting the final words from the court, but the SOLIDARITY DEMONSTRATION HAS BEEN CANCELLED for the convenience of our supporters.
We still plan to organise a demonstration in support of Grow Heathrow outside Uxbridge County Court on the date of the new trial, so please do keep in touch with the campaign for further announcements.
A big thanks to the witnesses in the local villages willing to support us in court, and to everyone who was planning to support us at the demonstration.
Love to all,
If you’ve hung out at Grow Heathrow in the spring you might have eaten from our salads which, unlike the Beatles’ self-important claim, are what is genuinely bigger than Jesus. So what makes them so big? So huge, if you will?
Well, the answer is linden (tilia spp.) leaves. These mild flavoured, slightly thick leaves are just bursting into leaf now, at the start of May, and will get large enough to harvest in a few weeks. They’re in season while they’re still lime green and see-through and before they become darker green and tough. The tree is also known as lime but has nothing to do with the citrus fruit that brought us mojitos and shaking limes in coconuts. They’re everywhere lining streets and parks in west London, and it’s quick to harvest bucketloads and mix them in a salad with the stronger flavours that are much more common in wild foods, for example wild garlic (allium ursinum) or sour, lemony sorrel (rumex acetosa).
From 1 till 4 on Sunday 22 May, we’ll kick off with an ID walk, learning or recapping some of the common springtime wild salads such as chickweed (stellaria media), garlic mustard (alliaria petiolata), oxeye daisy (leucanthemum vulgare), and common poisonous plants – god knows there’s enough hemlock (conium maculatum) around on site. As hemlock was good enough to kill Socrates, it’s definitely good enough to do us some mischief, so it’s worth taking a moment to snatch sideways glances at with wide eyes and thumping hearts while we fearfully fill our humungous salad pot.
Then we’ll enjoy eating the salad. Sounds like a good day, doesn’t it? I’m definitely going. See you there if you like salad. If you don’t like salad, you’ll be underwhelmed.
Lewdown Holdings Limited (who own most of the land we live on) are attempting to get a possession order which would mean we could be forcibly removed from the community project that we have all worked together to establish for over 6 years.
Having turned this once abandoned market garden into an ecologically thriving community garden – a site where all previous planning applications have been rejected, each proposed development failing to respect the ecology of the land and the needs of the local community – Grow Heathrow could be facing an immediate threat of eviction.
There will be a solidarity demonstration, gathering from 9:00am outside Uxbridge County Court on Thursday 19th May.
The address is: 501 Uxbridge Road, Hayes, London UB4 8HL.
By public transport, ride buses 90, 195 or H98 from Hayes and Harlington station, or the 427 or 607 from Ealing Broadway.
Grow Heathrow is happily volunteering our beds and a cup of tea in the morning to anyone who may travel from further afield. In the morning we’ll cycle to court together. Bring your banners, and musical instruments. Let’s have a party, laughing all the way to court.
In the 20th century, Chief Luther Standing Bear of the Lakota tribe said,
“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.”
In other words, if you don’t treasure this beautiful planet that we currently inhabit, then you are unlikely to value the lives and rights and the needs of its people.
Grow Heathrow asks us to take up the challenge of connecting our economies to the quality of our lives and the future of the environment, and – most concretely and urgently – we hope to raise the alarm on behalf of those living on the front lines of climate change in the global south, and our neighbours in the Heathrow villages.
Join us on the 19th May in solidarity for the villagers’ long, inspiring campaign for their rights, their futures, as Heathrow’s onslaught for a 3rd runway intensifies.
On the 27th of March 2016 volunteers from Grow Heathrow helped an abandoned orchard to get back on its feet.
The orchard is situated in Harlington. It seems to have been neglected for many years.
All the trees are almost completely smothered in ivy and huge amounts of rubbish have been left there.
Lots of this rubbish has now been left by the road for the council to collect.
The ivy was chopped near the base of some trees.
This will gradually die and give the trees a chance to become productive and healthy again.
If anyone wants to get involved in helping to sort out this orchard then come to Grow Heathrow and get involved.
There is still a lot of rubbish to clear. There is also lots of potential growing space beneath the trees.
Hopefully this can become a beautiful bountiful resource, providing fresh healthy food to the local community once again. Rather than a fly tipping site.
Grow Heathrow has been found to be home to a huge number of stag beetles (lucanus cervus) living in rotting woodchip around the site. These are the largest beetles in England and are seriously threatened on a global scale. South-east England is the most common place to find them in the country. Stag beetle numbers have had a decline in recent years because of loss of habitat. They live as larvae in rotting wood for 5-7 years and then become beetles for a few months while they breed.
On our site there are loads of larvae living in piles of rotting woodchip around site. Most of the larvae have been found living in the driveway, where hundreds of loads of woodchip have been dropped of by tree surgeons over the years. Most of this woodchip is well rotted now and is great for putting on growing beds as mulch. We sieve the woodchip first to remove any un-rotted chips, and re-home any stag beetle larvae we find.
Adding rotted woodchips to soil has many benefits, some of which include:
Encouraging worms which dig through the soil and aerate it.
Reducing competition from weeds, allowing more nutrients and water for plants you are growing.
Adding extra nutrients to the soil.
Increasing the soil buffering capacity, which means plants can tolerate a bigger variety of acidity levels in soil.
Improving the soil structure.
Allowing conditions for mycorrhizal fungi to grow, if no-dig gardening is practiced, which have a huge list of benefits (you can read about here: http://mycorrhizas.info/roles.html).
Protecting the soil from weathering from the elements.
Woodchip and logs are easy to come by for free, just ring up your local tree surgeons. If you have a garden please leave some piles of un-treated wood to rot down for stag beetles, the larvae prefer it if they can stay in one location while they grow so try not to move logs around. If you find larvae while digging up rotted woodchip for mulch then just bury them again and they should survive.
At the side of the driveway we have made a home for stag beetles which we find when digging in the woodchip, it’s just a pile of rotting wood and woodchip with the larvae buried inside.
Saturday 5th March from 2pm
As part of Grow Heathrow’s fantastical 6th Birthday celebrations, join us on Saturday for an informative herb walk around the site with community herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad and some Spring vinegar making, bring a jar! We will be learning about and harvesting mineral rich herbs such as nettles, cleavers, dandelion and burdock roots..
The inspirational KMT Freedom Teacher, artist and co-founder of the May Project Gardens is joining us to deliver a 2 hour Hip-Hop Garden workshop on Saturday afternoon!
Throughout history, the land and people’s relation to it has inspired songs about LAND RIGHTS, FOOD AND GROWING, ENCLOSURES, POACHING, RAMBLING, LOSS, EMIGRATION and HOMECOMING.
At dusk on Saturday, Robin Grey and Naomi Wilkins from ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ will be hosting an informal SINGING CIRCLE. Bring songs to share, or come and listen.
Winter is often seen as a time for rest and reflection. For many mammals it’s a time to make a nice warm den and hibernate for a few months, getting ready for the year ahead.
At Grow Heathrow, we’re often lured in to the traps of modern life – always doing, doing, doing and doing some more. This can all get a bit much and lead to burn out.
So, in an attempt to counter this, we’ve decided we’re going to hibernate for the month of February. This means we won’t be accepting any new volunteers for this period, in order to allow us to reflect on the past year, build the relationships within the already existing group and have a bit of a rest.
You’re still more than welcome, however, to visit us during the day, come to our workshops and events, and make suggestions for workshops for the coming months.
Also, in the first week of March – we’d love you to come and stay in order to help us get ready for our 6th Birthday celebrations!