Community Gardening - at the bottom of Darlingscote Road

To encourage and raise awareness about the concept of Landshare new Transition Shipston supporter Mike Ashton has generously offered to allow his land at the bottom of Darlingscote Road to be used by Transition Shipston as a community space for growing vegetables and fruit in return for keeping an eye on it whenever he is away.
He has previously kept pigs and chickens there and currently has bees but feels more could be done. He wants Transition Shipston to make as much use of the land as possible and stresses that all the produce is ‘ours’ rather than ‘his’. As well as working he also would like to see the land used as a community social space and would like to see us hold ‘Harvest’ parties during the year.

Sunday 18 April saw a group of Transition Shipston members meeting up at the land and discussing plans for it. No time was lost and everyone got stuck in - as it is heavy clay soil the first raised bed was constructed from sleepers, filled with old turf and topsoil, then sown with parsnip, beetroot, lettuce, spring onion and turnip. The bed was enclosed with chicken wire to protect from rabbits. The next row was of old tyres planted with potatoes again encircled with chicken wire. We congratulated ourselves on a job well done for the first afternoon – and enjoyed tea and delicious home made cake (thanks Jo!) as a reward, sitting, chatting and enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

The following Sunday another raised bed was constructed and sown with peas. Much soil preparation (lots of soil conditioner and grit!) went into digging the holes for a double row of autumn fruiting raspberries. Jobs for the future include improving the entrance area to use for social gatherings by extending and enclosing the shelter, creating a fire pit and seating area and building a clay oven - oh yes and of course growing more veg and keeping chickens for eggs and meat. But the social side is what’s important!

Sunday afternoons are ‘open house’ – look out for an email each week advising of times to meet up at the land for anyone who wants to come along and have a look or help out. Car share can be arranged.

See you there! Contact:

Becky Stewart-Harris

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