Posted: May 13th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Energy, Gardening Club | Tags: food, garden, growing, organic, permaculture | No Comments »
3 Sisters Companion Planting Skill Share Sunday 18th May!
The Three Sisters – corn, beans and squash – are 3 great plants that grow and thrive together. Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. The beans take nitrogen to the corns roots, improving the fertility of the plot by providing nitrogen for the following years corn. Bean vines also help stabilize the corn plants against the wind. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch, shading emerging weeds and preventing soil moisture from evaporating, improving the overall crops chances of survival in dry summers. Spiny squash plants also help discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans.
The large amount of crop residue from this planting combination can be incorporated back into the soil at the end of the season to build up the organic matter and improve its structure.Corn, beans and squash also complement each other nutritionally. Corn provides carbohydrates, the beans are rich in protein and squash yields both vitamins from the fruit and healthful, delicious oil from the seeds.
Last year the 3 sisters shared an vibrant and full bed in the front meadow. This year, to give them more space, we’re going to be venturing to the newly mulched sunny plot in the back.
Next Sunday 19th May every one is welcome to come and join in the preparing of the beds and planting of the vegetables. Growing Sundays will be starting at the usual time of 2pm and ending at dusk, but feel free to drop in whenever you like. I’m not an expert on this, in fact I’ve never done it before, so hopefully every one can share what they know and work on it together and we’ll all come away knowing a little bit more.
If you have any questions please give us a call on 07890751568 or email email@example.com
Posted: March 26th, 2013 | Author: Holly | Filed under: Events, Gardening Club, Growing Group | Tags: community, food, garden, growing | No Comments »
It might be cold and grey, but spring IS on its way and it’s time to start preparing for our biggest and best growing season yet!
Join us from 1pm on Sunday 31 March to welcome the sun and keep Heathrow growing!
We’ll start the afternoon by sharing food – feel free to bring a dish – then we’ll get down to sowing seeds, mulching beds and weeding, as well as exploring the site and washing it all down with a cuppa!
There’ll also be a wild food walk led by Sam, our resident forager. He’ll be finding:
- wild chervil, anthriscus sylvestris - posh up your soups
- three-cornered garlic, allium triquetrum - stir fry magic
- hogweed, heracleum sphondylium - nature’s free spring asparagus
- coltsfoot, tussilago farfara - put some flowers in your spring salads (thanks Lou!)
- sorrel, rumex acetosa - lemony zing for your April larder
- chickweed, stellaria media - year round salads from one of London’s most widely found plants
- hairy bittercress, cardamine hirsuta - spicy cress, their weeds are our lunch
To find out more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our address is Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, West Drayton, UB7 0JG.
Posted: March 11th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Gardening Club, Growing Group | Tags: food, garden, growing | No Comments »
The Growing Season has begun! After an amazing weekend the sun has been shining and the birds singing, yes the spring has arrived, therefore there are lots of jobs to do in the garden, in preparation for a beautiful organic growing season.
So come join us at Grow Heathrow, this Sunday at 2pm for a full day’s graft of compost, seed sowing, mulching and more.
GROWING SUNDAYS ARE BACK - Many hands make light work, so the more the merrier!! Meet and jobs for the day from 2pm till dusk There will be growing tasks followed by an evening of discussion and planning, for a forest garden design in the coppice.
Posted: February 13th, 2013 | Author: mattk | Filed under: Events, Gardening Club | Tags: community, food, growing, Residents, transition | No Comments »
On Saturday the 9th Feb, Transition Heathrow, together with the Cass Project and Hillingdon Play, held an open space for discussing the potential of a community garden in Hayes.
Locals were invited to come down and meet each other at the proposed site on the Austen estate. Hillingdon Play provided games and activities for the children while we offered foraged teas at the ‘rocket stove cafe’ and music from our cycle powered sound system.
It was a fun and informal event where many people met for the first time to chat over tea and cakes.
Residents and Cass architecture students came up with ideas and improvements for five currently disused spaces on the estate.
Feedback from local people indicated that it is usual for next door neighbours not to know each other and that there is a desire for a sense of community here.
The initial interest seems to be in the creation of a children’s play area with seating, and possibly a selection of fruit trees and a herb garden as a valuable addition.
Posted: January 28th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Growing Group | Tags: access to land, community, food, garden, growing | No Comments »
Land and Liberty: How we found our patch of land
Are you looking for land to grow food in London, or interested in the history and practice of land rights?
Come along to Pogo Cafe on the 4th of February to share stories and ask questions about accessing land for food growing in London. Member organisations from the Community Food Growers Network will be joined by Rebecca Marshall of the Community Land Advisory Service to share their insights and experiences on various ways to access land in urban areas, and the trials and tribulations of the different models.
The event will include some background to the issues and a look at the future of accessing land for community based horticulture projects, as well as a participatory open space where you can ask questions and seek advice.
Food will be available by donation. Event will be 7pm – 10pm on the 4th February at Pogo’s Cafe, 76 Clarence Road, Hackney, E5 8HB
Posted: August 24th, 2012 | Author: Joe | Filed under: Cool Projects, Gardening Club, Growing Group | Tags: food, growing, veg box | No Comments »
Our newly launched veg box scheme at the Sipson Post Office is proving a remarkable success with the Heathrow village folk. Every few days we have been re-filling the veg box with courgettes, tomato’s, carrots, salads, chillies, onions and more.
Very kindly the shop offered to sell our locally grown vegetables with all the proceeds coming straight back to us which means we are able to cover our costs. At the moment the veg is being sold on a donations basis, so people give whatever they feel they can give.
Veg harvested at Grow Heathrow
After harvesting from the Grow Heathrow community garden, we take the 100m walk down Sipson Lane to give Sipson residents vegetables which have absolutely zero air miles.
A re-filled Veg Box
For some interesting reading on Grow Heathrow and why we feel gardening is such an important part of the project you can read Grow Heathrow gardener William Ronan’s blog post on StirToAction: ‘Keep the Aspidistra Flying: Olly Twist, The Black Panthers and Food Autonomy’. And I leave with you with my faviourite picture of the week:
A half yellow, half green Squash
Posted: June 25th, 2012 | Author: Joe | Filed under: Gardening Club, Growing Group | Tags: food, garden, growing | No Comments »
We finished our ‘Square Foot Garden’ today and have sown Chicory, Sorrel, Lemon Balm, Beetroot, Calendula, Thyme, Black Spanish Long Radish, Savoy Cabbage, Marigold, and even some Basil seeds from the PEDAL seedbank picked up in Turkey- all in 4ft by 4ft!
We also put in some tomato and chilli plants that we sowed seeds for back in April- so there’s alot going on.
We built a simple raised bed from scaffolding boards 4ft by 4ft with string running across at 1ft intervals making a criss-cross of 16 square foot plots.
The idea behind Square Foot Gardening is that because many different varieties of plants are so close together diseases will not spread so easily and natural insect repellant methods will work well in a tight space- meaning there is less need to use pesticides.
One such method is companion planting where plants are placed close together as they support each other in getting nutrients, controlling pests, and pollination. So we planted Marigolds next to the Tomato plants in the Square Foot Garden today as its strong musky smell deters common insect pests.
The dense spacing for the plants mean that they become a living ‘mulch’ which enriches the soil, prevents erosion and holds water in the ground.
Square Foot Gardening is also a great way to use constricted space- especially in the city!
We used different ways to sow seeds; in drills, in clusters, or broadcasting.
For example we sowed the Chicory in drills which are rows of seeds. Using a finger we created a line half an inch deep in the soil, before watering the small trench.
After sowing the seeds we covered the seeds with dry soil, as gnats will lay larvae on damp soil.
We broadcast sowed the Basil so we can harvest from a large clump of it! The same steps were followed as before except that the whole 1ft x 1ft plot was watered using a rose on the end of the watering can before sprinkling the seeds lightly over the whole space, and then covering with dry soil.
We thought we’d try sowing the Black Spanish Long Radish in clusters - so in each of the six half-inch-deep holes spaced evenly in a 1ft x 1ft space we placed three radish seeds.
We’ll see how the experiment goes and post a blog when the seeds start coming up!
We’ve also had our first strawberries come out and harvested a few today.
We’ve been using Comfrey feed which encourages the plants to fruit- its very potassium rich. You can make your own at home instead of having to buy it from the shops.
You can learn how to make comfrey feed here.
Right- time to feed the Tomatoes!
Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: Amay | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: com.cafe, community, energy, growing, Residents, sipson, transition | No Comments »
This blog is a bit late but here goes. The rain held out and joining plenty of other stalls, including dance classes, giant jenga, gnome painting and the Com.Cafe puppet show, Transition Heathrow had a great day with Heathrow villagers at this years Sipson Spring Fair.
In the Transition Heathrow area we had a mini selection of all the spaces from the Grow Heathrow site giving residents who haven’t yet visited a peek of what goes on in Vineries Close. A growing area giving away free tomato, salad and coriander plants and wild flower seed bombs, an energy space with a bike powered phone charger, arts and crafts with face painting and mural art, bike doctor and tandem riding and information stall, plenty of new friends were made.
A big thanks to all who came out for the day, its community events like these which bring everyone together and make people value and protect what we have here in Sipson.
Have a look at some pictures from the Uxbridge Gazette. And a big thanks to Kate Birch (Heathrow Villages Community Development officer) for making it all happen.
Posted: May 18th, 2012 | Author: Amay | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, food, GM, growing | No Comments »
Join us in fighting GM
On the 27th May, Transition Heathrow and the Community Food Growers Network will be joining a large group of bakers, retailers, growers, grassroots food campaigners and concerned food eaters to take action against the current open field trials of genetically modified (GM) wheat.
We invite you to join us for the day. We support this action because we believe that the trial is unsafe – it risks contaminating other crops, and the effects on human health and on insects vital to pollination haven’t been properly tested; and it is completely unnecessary – to reduce world hunger and decrease the use of pesticides we need equitable systems of food distribution and access to land, and sustainable methods of agriculture. More reasons why the trial is such a bad idea can be found on the Take Back the Flour website.
We will meet at Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, Herts, at 12 noon to share picnics, swap seeds, try bread from organic bakers and hear live music from Seize the Day. At 1.30pm we’ll take a 20 minute stroll on public footpaths to the trial site where those who wish to can participate in removing the GM crop.
The day will bring together people who oppose GM in the UK with people resisting GM in other parts of the world, with voices from Latin America, Asia and Africa sharing their experiences of the social and environmental effects of GM crops.
This action is for everyone who feels able to help remove the GM crop, and for those who wish to show their support for them. Families and wearers of customised aprons particularly welcome!
How to get there: Frequent trains run from London to Harpenden – the journey takes 30 mins from St Pancras. A ten minute walk from Harpenden Station gets you to the park. Directions are available at Harpenden station.
See www.taketheflourback.org for more information about the day, and other ways to take action if you can’t make it on the 27th.