Posted: May 10th, 2016 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events | Tags: food, wild food | No Comments »
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.
Posted: October 2nd, 2015 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Events | Tags: art, building, food, workshops | No Comments »
The Alternative Press team are building and celebrating the last and final phase of A Room of One’s Own (AROOO) at Grow Heathrow Saturday 17th October! Come and join us for a live build, zine workshops, walks, yoga, music, open mic, and a bonfire party at sunset!
The itinerary for the day;
11am to 2pm – AROOO gets built!
2-3pm – Lunch!
3-6pm – Walks, workshops, yoga, meditation, open mic, music, drawing on AROOO…
Sunset + BONFIRE PARTY! poetry readings, potential sleepover
Feel free to bring food and drink! And donations kindly welcome!
It only makes sense that a sculpture aimed to raise awareness on the need for safe and inclusive space ends up at Grow Heathrow, where the community will continue to use it not only as an additional greenhouse, but a space to represent and champion the cause of the local community.
Join us for our day long celebration and party.
And get to meet the lovely residents at Grow Heathrow!
Love all round
Posted: September 29th, 2015 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Foraging, Growing Group | Tags: art, food, garden, hounslow, wellbeing, wild food | No Comments »
Perhaps on one of the last sunny days of the summer a Hounslow based gardening group visited Grow Heathrow to join in with creative gardening workshops.
Together we gathered herbs to make herbal teas, learning about the health benefits of the different plants that grow wild (and even sometimes as weeds in your garden!) Thus the morning started with enjoying cups of tea and absorbing the essence of healing herbs in Grow Heathrow’s meadow.
Before the group had arrived, volunteers from Grow Heathrow explored the site finding edible flowers and filling a treasure chest with calendula, rose petals, chive flowers, borage, mallow and many more ready for the main session of the morning: edible flower mandala making.
In our straw-bale house, everyone got together with plates to make edible flower mandalas upon. It’s surprising how many different flowers are good to eat, together we talked about the flowers, how lovely they were and started to make patterns on the plate. By the end each mandala had a different characteristic reflecting the artistic flair of the gardeners. Now, for the best bit: eating the mandala! By design, mandalas are never built to last, instead the fleeting beauty reminds us of the impermanence of things; by focusing on the flowers whilst creating the mandalas, and then erasing the patterns by eating them we are also experiencing the bloom and wilt cycle that leads to the flowers making seeds.
We hope at Grow Heathrow, the Hounslow Gardening Group received seeds of inspiration to see flowers are more than ornaments and weeds are more useful than just a nuisance! Everything that grows has a use.
Posted: September 8th, 2015 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Events, Growing Group | Tags: food, growing, sustainability, workshops | No Comments »
Nitrogen, potassium, phosphates.. why are these relevant to how plants grow? And how can gardeners make sure plants get the food they need for healthy growth and harvests?
In this workshop participants will explore nutritional needs of plants, observe nutrient deficiencies in plants, and learn methods such as soil top dressings and making comfrey liquid feeds for free.
Posted: August 28th, 2015 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Events | Tags: community, Festival, food, growing | No Comments »
The tomatoes are ripening, the potatoes have been dug up, the cats are meowing, yes, it’s time to celebrate the harvest this Saturday with music, pumpkins and pizzas at the autumnal, autonomous community garden – Grow Heathrow!
Throughout the day expect…
Guess the weight of the pumpkin competition, charcoal making workshop (with Bio-Char Man), renewable energy system talk and tour and yoga and meditation hosted by The Buddha in the Strawbale House.
The Clay Pizza Oven will be in full throttle, making garlic bread and pizza throughout the day
14:00 Heathrow villages Orchard with Kate Corder.
15:00 No Third Runway! Open discussion on next steps in the campaign.
16:30 Making Herbal remedies over a rocket stove (Bring your own jar!)
18:00 As ever, there will be five fine courses of fine vegan cuisine. Culinary revellers are welcome to cook their own dish at home to bring along and share.
The evening will play host to an Open Mic Night, testing out the new SOUND SYSTEM!
Posted: July 7th, 2015 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: food, wild food, workshops | No Comments »
Along with steamed hogweed buds (and blackberries), the other favourite foraged edible at Grow Heathrow is elderberry vinegar. Come on Saturday 5 September from 1 till 5 and join us.
As always, we’ll big you up and thank you loads for any/as many clean empty jars as you can bring :). So – elderberries. This widespread, delicious wild food has been one of Britain’s best loved hedgerow treasures for centuries, brewed into a unique smooth, rich and port-like wine with a flavour unmatched by anything on supermarket shelves (see recipe). The tree (sambucus nigra) is easy to identify if you’ve smelled the sweet elderflowers around May and June; they turn into drooping clusters of shiny purplish-black elderberries hanging down from purple stems from mid August till October.
Its best kept secret is definitely elderberry balsamic vinegar. This is fun, quick to make and leaves you with a result that transforms cheap vinegar into posh balsamic: a bit like Jesus turning water into wine, but more directly useful for climbing the greasy pole of Britain’s entrenched system of class hierarchy.
Strip the berries from the stems using your hands or a fork; compost the stems. Take a litre of British cider vinegar (ie, the perfect amount for a small portion of chips) and add a kilo of elderberries. Chuck them together in a covered stainless steel, glass or enamelled container for a week. Then strain, put the liquid on the hob, let it simmer for ten minutes and bottle. Now order a small portion of chips to go with your litre of vinegar and enjoy. Congratulations: the balsamic vinegar in front of you means you’re going up in the world!
Living in broken rotting greenhouses has its perks. What plant books flatteringly call ‘wasteland species’ may not have the looks but as we like to say here, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And autumn is coming up, with our Garden of Eden maze of elderberries and blackberries.
You can also check out the Urban Harvest info on eating elderberries.
Posted: January 14th, 2015 | Author: Ali | Filed under: Education | Tags: food, preserving, workshops | No Comments »
Britain is completely missing out on the benefits of fermented foods. I read that in the Guardian last summer. Kate Moss or someone equally iconic had said so, thus I resolved to buy a jar of sauerkraut that followed me from Edinburgh to Nottingham to Lincoln and then got lost. Although my love affair with fermented foods was brief, the fact still stood, unlike our European counterparts, here in the UK, we are missing out on eating ‘live’ food, and as a result we are missing out on a myriad of health benefits.
Now, for me fermented foods had always been synonymous with sauerkraut, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. In the main space at Grow Heathrow, there is a shelf that was obviously once meant for jams (it’s wittily labelled “Anarchy Spreads”) but has been laden with dusty jars of fermented foods for goodness knows how long. Indeed at the end of February Grow Heathrow will be half a decade old (come to our birthday party on the 28 of February and 1st of March!). So maybe that’s how old our ferments are too! I found that very intimidating it and took Annie, the fairy god mother of fermenting, to quell my fears in her Fun and Easy Fermenting workshop as part of our Winter Shazzam program at Grow Heathrow.
Her wonderful and breezy approach to the art of creating this incredibly healthy food completely demystified sauerkraut and other fermented foodstuffs. On a lovely sunny January Sunday, we kicked off our winter season with Annie’s workshop. And what a treat it was. Annie brought a wide variety of ferments to show us: from hot sauce to addictive kimchee, and also offered the opportunity to taste more traditional and seasonal ferments. Of course I was immediately drawn to the more creative jars, like the kimchee, yet actually ended up making old-school red cabbage sauerkraut. My buddies around the table were creative or conventional to varying degrees, two boys combining powers to make rainbow sauerkraut, which included a turnip and fruit.
Over all, the workshop was a blissful way to learn about food. Annie proved to us that fermenting really does boil down to three simple steps and a handful of salt which will create something yummy. What a tranquil start to Shazzam and a tasty start to the year! I couldn’t have been more lucky.
Posted: November 13th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Bike, Events | Tags: bikes, food, grow heathrow, organic, workshops | No Comments »
This Saturday in Grow Heathrow, we have 2 activities to choose from:
12-4pm: Bike Workshop. Come and repair your own bike, or learn how to repair bikes in general.
1.30-4.30pm: Organic is affordable! A workshop about organic food, and especially how to buy and cook in such a way that you can keep it affordable for yourself.
In the latter we’ll be discussing the benefits of organic food, why it costs more, how to change your cooking and shopping patterns, how to store food, and more. There will be tasting and learning new foods and we’ll exchange information about where to get affordable organic food.
Come and have a fun day with us! Do let us know if you’d like to attend either workshop so that we have an idea of numbers for lunch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: August 29th, 2014 | Author: Joe | Filed under: Action, Film, legal | Tags: bailiffs, change, climate, eviction, food, grow heathrow, resistance, sipson, third runway | No Comments »
Grow Heathrow: Resisting Eviction from Sean Richard on Vimeo.
Nearly five years later the group has cleared 30 tonnes of rubbish and runs a popular community space called Grow Heathrow with a bicycle workshop, food-growing club, renewable energy courses, and an art space.
On Friday the 15th of August, after a three year court battle, bailiffs arrived for the first time to evict the group and were met with nearly 200 people supporting Grow Heathrow to continue the project.
The bailiffs will be returning soon and the members of community garden are preparing with various resistance tactics. The group are trying to negotiate with the owner to buy the land with the support of John McDonnell MP and the Sipson Resident’s Association.
To follow their story see:
Video by film-maker Sean Richard
Posted: August 11th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: food, sipson, wild food | No Comments »
The highlight of our foraging year.
If Grow Heathrow hasn’t been evicted, we’re going to bottle loads of blackberries. Bring clean empty jars and you will earn respect, win honour and know true righteousness. It’ll be the tail end but we should get lots of juicy buckets. You can taste some of last year’s (they’re great) and take some of this year’s jars home so you can fish for compliments from your family.
If we have been evicted, we’ll just go and eat blackberries. To be honest it might turn into just eating blackberries either way. See you there!