A visit to Stromness Community Garden on Orkney

22 Oct

Any project that has been going for as long as our community garden in Tangmere – we are just finishing out 7th growing season – has it’s ups and downs, and feasts and famines of regular and committed gardeners. I am, however, constantly amazed at how much we have achieved and how good the garden (usually) looks, despite the fact that we have never had any major funding. We have had 2 generous gifts: our polytunnel from Fordingbridge Engineering (the erection of which was made possible by a generous donation from Tangmere Airfield Nurseries) and our edible hedgerow which was a grant in kind from the Tree Council.

Lottery money and grants have been achieved by many other gardens that I have visited, and that is indeed the case for Stromness Community Garden, which is funded by the Lottery. It seems to be a large plot but rough, and there are 3 areas outside being cultivated at the moment, although the plan on the notice board suggests that the finished garden will be quite grand with sitting and decorative areas as well as veg growing in lots of beds.


Stromness garden’s polytunnel is already up and running and is a similar size to ours. However, they seem to have individual plots within the polytunnel, many of which were still producing, even at the end of October. Novel use of old fish boxes for growing carrots was interesting, and their fig tree is doing well, obviously contained in the ground.


Sunday afternoons, twice a month, seem to be key group work times in Stromness. We keep talking about Sundays, and afternoons, and we really must try that next year. In the meantime, it’s good to see what other groups are up to and to reflect on all that we have achieved in the last 7 years. It can seem a bit depressing when there is still so much more to be done, but I reckon gardening is much better exercise than going to the gym. But hey, what would I know about that?!

Rosemary.

A visit in the rain

10 Sep

Today we were amazed that 26 members of Slindon & Madehurst Horticultural Society braved the rain to visit the Community Garden. Perhaps the exceptional nature of our baking is becoming local legend? I think the pictures tell the story.

Our Community Garden is still going strong!

10 Sep

Usually when a website is not updated you fear the worst. Oh dear! This project/business/person has given up. Luckily this is certainly not the case with Tangmere’s Community Garden – we have just been too busy gardening to do any writing. One of our main website contributors has also moved away – maybe to grow a new community garden in the Med?

So I shall dust off the fountain pen and scribe a few words to bring you up to date. In the meantime, here are a few pics of what has been going on recently.

A new Film at the Eco Cinema

18 Mar

I AM Poster

 

Tom Shadyac’s new film I AM will blow your mind!

Tom Shadyac, one of Hollywood’s most successful comedy directors(Bruce Almighty, The Nutty Professor) had it all – the perfect Hollywood lifestyle, the mansions and private jets. Then one day it all came to a halt after a bicycling accident. He suffered complications from severe concussion that is untreatable and often incurable.

Facing his own death brought an instant sense of clarity and purpose. “If I was going to die,” he asked himself, “what did I want to say before I went?” Suddenly he knew. He wanted to tell people what he had come to know, and explore these two questions. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD? WHAT CAN WE DO TO FIX IT?

I AM is a story of how, after his recovery, Tom changed his life in every aspect of the word. He sold his estate, moved into a trailer park and simplified his life. He picked up a camera crew and created this feature length documentary that just might be the most uplifting and convenient truth to ever hit the big screen.

Transition Chichester’s Eco cinema will show I AM on Monday 4th April 2016 from 7.30pm

Bassil Shippam Centre, Chichester, PO19 7LG

Entry £5.00 / £3.00 Concessions

www.transitionchichester.org

Pyrotechnics

27 Feb

Well it’s been awhile. Winter crept up on us at a slow pace this season and a very wet pace it was. Our visits were marked by the amount of mud on our shoes as we left, having slid a squelched our way around the garden.Throughout the winter we have had a fantastic supply of salad leaves as well as chard, spinach and herbs from the polytunnel which has really come into its own this year having been utilised to its full potential.  This week as we looked around the garden we remarked at how tidy and well cared for  it’s looking, the best we remember. We have a good group of members now who regularly come and do something even if it is just a bit of weeding, or mulching our paths with pepper mulch. We now have a few  weekends set aside for group work days where a good contingent of members turn out to get those winter jobs done of tidying and maintenance that just don’t get a look in when the growing season starts. Last weekend was just such a one and we tackled more pruning , bed mulching and weeding and new fruit bush supports being erected.The pruning of all the soft fruit bushes and Hawthorn hedges has been an ongoing theme. Some of the prunings have been made into bundles of faggots to hopefully be used in the Spring to light the pizza oven, waste not want not.

This week we continued by finishing the pruning and having a good old bonfire to get rid of a pile of accumulated rubbish it did get to be quite a fearsome heat which kept us warm on such a chilly day. Already the garlic and onions have put a spurt on and it will soon be time to start thinking about seeds that need to be sown for this years crops. Onwards and upwards as they say on Gardener’s question time.

Super Sofa Memorial

29 Sep

On Sunday the 27th September 2015 the garden saw another milestone day as a celebration seat was donated to the garden in memory of Rory Minns, a fellow gardener and enthusiast for the community garden. Sadly last year  his young life ended and the village mourned for a life cut short at the age of 25. This young man was amongst other things, a poet, horticulturist, and environmentalist but sadly chased by his own demons. Rosemary’s obituary to him was posted here: https://tangmerecommunitygarden.wordpress.com.

His family wanted to donate a seat to the garden in memory of him and a collection point for donations was set up in the local shop as well as the Community garden. This is no ordinary seat though, not your run of the mill garden bench, as befits Rory the seat is as individual and multi-faceted as Rory himself. Made out of a solid piece of oak and sculpted only with a chain saw by another very talented young man called Simon Groves who lives and works in Warningcamp.  This is a work of art. The seat is in the shape of a sofa and carved around it are things relating to Rory as his mum explained. Morning glory flowers, bee orchids, a garden fork and Rory’s  tag  in fabulous flamboyance is on the back.

The day  of the unveiling took place on the anniversary of Rory’s birthday and was a beautiful one with the sun shining down on us as we celebrated with our Autumn open day.  A table was groaning under a huge selection of cakes and dainties. The tombola was non-stop and a good crowd made up mostly of Rory’s family and friends attended. It was a great success and we now have a beautiful seat to rest and ponder upon. May you rest in the peace of the garden Rory.

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Eco Cinema

23 Sep

Here is another film at Transition Chichester showing at The Basil Shippam Centre on 5th October

Money and Life A4 poster-page-001 (4)

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