Written by Joanna Houseman
Just before Christmas while I was visiting London I took the opportunity of doing a little field research for some upcoming exciting new Greener Tywyn projects.
I visited a couple of active gardening projects and made contact with a few more which I plan to visit in the future. I hope you’ll find it interesting to read about the work some colleagues have been doing elsewhere in the country and that reading about other peoples’ ideas and projects may help us to motivate to work together here in Tywyn.
I first visited a small community garden in Hackney called Kynaston Gardens. This is a beautiful little oasis right in the middle of Hackney and it is well tended and cared for by the local community.
The garden is quite small and laid out in a circular shape with beds around the edges and a lawn area in the middle. Of course with it being winter there was not a lot to see planted up in the beds but there is evidence they do a lot of veg growing, growing of flowers and also there are fruit bushes and trees across the back of the garden.
They also have an attractive wall mural, a recycling litter bin and some fun wooden sculptures.
This was a lovely little project which is obviously well cared for by the locals.
The following day I had the privilege of a guided tour around the campus of Roehampton University courtesy of Ollie at the Growhampton project there.
Roehampton University is quite unique in London in that it has extensive grounds which include an old orchard, a lake and woodlands. The Growhampton project has been based there for a number of years and they have been working together with the staff and students to create an ‘edible’ campus.
They have an allotment style area which includes beds dedicated for staff use, beds for student use and also some great high level raised beds for more physically challenged members of the surrounding community to use.
They have their own brood of hens, most are rescued and their care is in the hands of a group of student volunteers (who get paid in eggs).
They are currently developing a forest garden in a woodland area near to the dance studio.
There are more growing beds in the area near the student union, in fact just about everywhere you look there is a container or bed with something edible growing in it!
And then they have The Hive Café which sells any surplus produce from the growing project, eggs and also preserves that the students have made (alongside delicious food, drinks and cakes), staffed by students and run by the project there’s also a mini zero waste shop inside.
Thanks so much to Growhampton Ollie for taking the time to show me the great work they have been doing there.
Watch this space for news of some very exciting plans taking seed on the Greener Tywyn Gwyrdd agenda starting with the wildflower garden next to the Magic Lantern Cinema in conjunction with Kew Gardens Grow Wild project. Join us there on Sunday 2nd February from 11am to do some ground prep and then for warm soup and a film from 3pm – The Biggest Little Farm. See the Magic Lantern program for details.