It's suddenly September! These past few weeks have gone by very quickly, and my placement is coming to its end.
Last week we completed the Giant herb spiral and cleared all the grass from the cobbles at Cross Green!! The spiral is even better than I imagined, and the cobbles would have taken us weeks and weeks to clear had we not had all the help from the corporate volunteers.
We also repaid a visit to Brudenel primary school and the sensory path this week. Thanks to another team of corporate volunteers the path is looking really good and the fire pit is almost finished. The kids are very excited about the prospect of chickens, hopefully arriving soon once the chicken coop has been built.
Rangers this week was a special occasion because it was one of the childrens birthdays. Deborah made a delicious sponge cake with rosehips, picked by the children last week on the Rosebank. Predictably the cake was devoured by kids and adults. It was really nice to eat something that had come from the Rosebank, I only wish I had taken a picture of it before it vanished.
Today was my last volunteering day at Cross Green community garden, and it was really sad to say goodbye to everyone. Amazingly the massive pile of soil that we started with a few weeks ago is almost gone! I feel really lucky to have been involved in this project and have met everyone.
On Tuesday was the long awaited visit from the BBC. It was very exciting! Two guys with one very large camera spent the day filming volunteers harvesting plants and then using them to make natural dye. I've never been on camera before or seen anything filmed so I didn't realize how much effort went into one shot! It was nice to see our volunteers get a chance to talk about the garden and what it means to them. Behla was very cool and calm when she was interviewed! I was very nervous when they came to talking to me, whilst I was planting. I'm normally okay at multitasking, but with the camera on me I struggled to dig a hole and talk, and not look at the camera!!
Another exciting event this week was almost finishing the compost toilet at the Killingbeck allotment! After a lot of digging, even getting the pick axe out, a trench was dug around the toilet. Once the trench was dug, the wire mesh could then be cut and placed around the bottom of the toilet. The wire is important in keeping out rats and anything else that might want to get to the Tiolets produce! We then filled the two layers of wire with bits of bracken to give the trench some privacy. We even found a great wooden toilet seat, abandoned in Woodhouse, now re-homed in the allotment! All that is left to do is place some plastic on the inside of the toilet and it will be ready for use!
Below are some pictures from this week. Including pics from Rangers this week, where we coloured in rocks and went on a scavenger hunt around the rosebank!
In preparation for the BBCs visit to Armley Mills on Tuesday, we have been hurrying to finish the mosaic baskets. The mosaics have now been drilled onto the baskets, and we will be planting herbs (maybe on camera?!) in them next week. Another great new addition to the garden, are the hand painted flower signs that Dave, a volunteer, made. The BBC will be filming on Tuesday at Armley Mills, as part of a series documentary about community gardens. Although not exactly sure what to expect, everyone is very excited for the BBC's visit next week!
On Wednesday there was more mosaic. Myself and Behla went to an event at the Cavelier Estate hosted by Leds Fed. As part of the festivities we helped people make their door numbers out of mosaic. The younger local residents really enjoyed getting involved and making something that they could take home.
In the afternoon I took the Rosebank Rangers session on the soggy Rosebank. It was a very messy session. What started out as making faces for the trees out of clay, evolved into general clay sculptures and even seat tops. One of the children came up with the great idea of putting clay on the rocks and smoothing it out to make it a bit like a seat, and then decorating it with leaf prints. There were also snail farms.
On Thursday it was the always fun, gardening and clearing at Cross Green. Its amazing how much we have cleared. The herb spiral is going to begin next week and I look forward to more digging.
Below are some pictures from this week. Featuring the beautifully painted signs by Dave.
The last two weeks have been very busy. From Unity day on the 2nd of August from the Royal Park School consultation this Tuesday, there has been a lot going on.
The Royal Park School site consultation has been a big part of the work at HP Source this summer. Unity day marked the first appearance of Naomi's shiny handmade model of the site. Very professional. Although the weather was miserable, we had a lot of positive responses about the possibility of HP Source taking on the site. I think people really enjoyed designing their own plan for the space. An outdoor cinema, free shop, breastfeeding friendly zone and bicycle repair workshop are just some of the great ideas for potential uses of the site that people came up with.
Another big event of the last few weeks was the Summer Gala! After all the planning and picking up dog poo on the Rosebank in the morning, the event went really well! We had a great turnout and amazing support from local organisations. Although my legs felt like jelly the next day, the bike powered sound system from Reaction Sound System was probably my favorite part of the event. The food provided by the Real Junk Food Project was a close second.
Lastly, Brudenell Primary School has been the lucky host to Hyde Park Source's activities on two occasions this summer. Last Tuesday we had a design day at the Primary School, about permaculture design. It was really nice to have the whole team together, as everyone is rarely in the office at the same time. I learnt a lot about permaculture and the permaculture design process. We returned to Brudenell Primary again this Tuesday with volunteers from Health Education England and the young people taking part in the National Citizenship Program (facilitated by the Youth Point at the Cardigan center). After having the NCP gang on the Rosebank a few weeks ago, it was really good to have the lively bunch back. The goal of the day was to make a start on the sensory path, which after a lot of lugging woodchip around we managed to achieve. I can't wait to see the finished sensory path!
Below are a selection of the many photos taken from the past weeks of Summer madness.
Summer has proved to be a great time to get involved with HP Source, there is so much going on at the moment that there is never a dull moment. In the last few weeks I have been helping out with various tasks at: Woodhouse bin yards, Armley Mills, Cross Green, Killingbeck allotments and Rosebank Rangers.
The Cross Green community garden has been particularly busy this summer. In the last few weeks I have been helping with the construction of the last few beds and clearing the area for the giant herb spiral. Doing a lot of digging last week in the heat, was really helped by the cold squash and biscuits that were provided by the lovely Cross Green team. The sun shaped design is now finished and looks fab. I’m really excited to see how the garden develops in the next few weeks and can’t wait to see how the giant herb spiral is going to look.
Another project that’s been busy this summer is the Rosebank Rangers, an after school club for Rosebank Primary school. Every week we’ve had a bigger turnout of children than the one before. At times having 16 children in the woods was a little stressful, but on the whole the session last week was really fun and the children loved making dens and finding insects.
Celebration was also in the air last week, as we finished the Binyards on Providence road in Woodhouse. From my first week at the project we have been working towards finishing the mosaic wall, using the pictures the local kids had designed and made themselves. Although the heat was threatening to slow down the mosaic making, by drying up the adhesive before we could lay the tiles, after a late afternoon session on Monday the walls are now completely finished and herbs have been planted in the beds. The end result is amazing; the whole road looks completely different. I’m going to miss being a part of this project, but it’s great that the local children and community now have a safe space that they can hang out in that they helped design and create.
When I haven't been out on projects, I have been helping Naomi organize the Hyde Park Source Summer Gala which is next Thursday!! Fingers crossed that the weather is going to be as good as last week, as the Rosebank is lovely in the sunshine. For anyone around next Thursday, you can expect a graffiti demo, bike powered music, natural felt making and mosaic making!! We are also flirting with the idea of jam making.
Observations from my first few weeks at HP Source: mosaic making is very relaxing, kids can spend hours making dens in the woods, old drain pipes make excellent flower baskets and people will actually steal planted vegetables straight out of beds.