ELL: September to December 2010

Gemma, Phil, LeonieGemma, Phil, Leonie
precision engineered boxesprecision engineered boxes
2 and a half down ...2 and a half down ...

RayRayOne snowy morning at the end of November, North London Waste delivered 15 tonnes of steaming hot compost to the site. I was very impressed by the dexterous driver; the way he made his rear end jig sideways to line up perfectly was something to see! Ray helped direct the truck and when its wheels were spinning on the ice.

At one stage we weren't sure the driver would be prepared to drive onto the grass for the drop. Lynne, Gemma and Frank were on standby in case the compost had to be wheelbarrowed elsewhere. But the frozen soil worked to our advantage and the load was dumped somewhere pretty convenient.

In spite of the cold, I was really excited when the lorry tipped up and all this sweet smelling brown stuff came tumbling out, almost in slow motion. (Is it normal to be this excited by what resembles a steaming mount of excrement?) It hissed like crazy when it hit the snow and steamed energetically. We won't be able to use it for weeks and then we might need to mix it with something less full on.

North London Waste speed composts food waste and plant scraps from our household recycling and then delivers it for free. So for the compost, it was a kind of homecoming!

Preparing the perennial bed - Frankie camouflaged by enormous rosemary bush.

All the plants, rootstocks, tools, scaffold planks and compost are now ordered.

Woo hoo! With BTCV's help, we managed to dig out all the unwanted ash and tree of heavens, and it's looking really good. Gemma (who also brought loads of useful massive pots) started clearing the showcase bed in earnest, Luke gave us tea from a storm kettle, we ate foraged leaves in our sarnies and bantered with the eccentric other site users (yes, that's you Jeremy). We found the old paths, some exploded 'Earth Stars' (a type of fungus) and mile long Tree of Heaven roots. We have the makings of a totem pole/hammock post/vine support, signed by some of us. Jerome from Haringey Action for Independent Living (HAIL) turned up to discuss how his organisation can work with us on this and other growing projects - providing volunteers, publicising our events etc. And the sun shone.
earth starearth star
totem treetotem tree

after clearingafter clearing

chestnut poleschestnut polesCutting sweet chestnut poles at the forest garden on 30 Oct 2010 to
make sign posts. Think that's Chris Spiers from BTCV and much grey being worn, for some reason!

our patchour patch
Now we are a Company Limited by Guarantee and we have even more good feedback:

  • “Brilliant, just what's needed” (Dave Morris, chair Friends of Lordship Rec, Haringey Friends of Parks Forum)
  • “We need more projects like this.” (Nick Furrow, Hackney Harvest, Transition Town Stoke Newington)
  • “I think it is excellent with many varied outcomes: food for future generations, educational value and potential for the development of small businesses” (Ros Bedlow, Transition Leytonstone)

perennial bed to beperennial bed to be