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Green power, broccoli man!

Green power, broccoli man!

Scroll down for posts on latest project events, courses, news tips and much more!

We are based in Newtown Powys, next to Theatr Hafren/ Newtown Coleg  & work all over North, Mid Wales and Marches region promoting community growing.

We have an organic market garden and horticulture training centre and are open to visitors and volunteers Monday to Thursday every week.

In 2014 we rebranded as Cultivate and we remain part of the Cwm Harry family of enterprises.

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Snapshot of the Cultivate team in the Newtown Community garden, home of the Get-Growing project

cultivate logo + web

New wild life area

carrot harvestbugsLlanidloes garden is buzzing with activity….. new micro allotments being built, summer harvests and the development of the wildlife area.

The wildlife area has been design by level two gardening students and has been funded by the ‘Grow wild’ project. Yesterday past students came back to help finish digging out and shape the pond area. We used recycled carpet as underlay to protect the butyl pond liner from sharp stones. Above this sits a viewing platform that over looks the pond and wildlife area, this has been built by volunteer Glen over the last week.

pondplatform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Monday we will be developing the bog area and planting the whole area with native plants following the planting plan created by gardening students. This area has been designed to be both ornamental and of benefit to wildlife. It will provide all year around pollen, berries and shelter, to increase local insects that are so important for food growing. They provide pollination services and act as predators for our food pests. For more info on why this is so important follow this link from the WWF report on global loss of wildlife over the last 40 years.

September in the garden

It is a busy time of year, with gathering in the harvest and planting crops for overwinter. The Pen Dinas site was busy with activity from staff, volunteers and a couple of visitors from our new project in North Wales ‘ Moelyci environmental and education centre’. There was at least 16 of us sitting down for a shared feast for lunch, prepared by our regular volunteers Chris and Alister using veg from our gardens. Today another new volunteer joined our team, Jack has written this weeks blog post…….

calundulaAs autumn begins the wildlife and plant growth seems abundant with a bumper crop of pumpkins and new shoots for the foreseeable winter turnover. Flower production in late bloom gives the cultivate project that added colour. The polytunnels with new seedlings prove to be a constant level of production, where tomato plants are still in late flower with a good looking amount of produce to be cropped in the upcoming months. Root vegetables such as beetroot and carrots are still in their young state.

 

applesMaintaining the growth with regulated watering and cutting stations gives the annual crop of vegetables and herbs a successful outlook for the sale side of things for when the colder season occurs. The sale area is stocked with a wide range of different species for sale to the general public and replanting on our community gardens. With the organic compost at a very dry state it shows that the soil is not lacking but containing the needed nutrients for a level of sustainable growth during autumn. Orchard trees are producing rosy red and vibrant green apples that set the colourful tone of the garden as a high yield year.

pumpkin harvestRipening and leaf evolution is showing an all-round success, due to well cared and persistent maintenance, evident in the different sections of garden areas during late September. Where replanting and new life lengthens the cultivate project’s success in deliverance of a wide range of different types of plant life for the forthcoming frost. Keeping the new seedlings and shoots at a maintained level of temperature is essential.

News bulletin from Llanfyllin’s Cae Bodfach: The young forest garden well and truly on its way!

Over the summer the Cae Bodfach volunteers scythed and made sure that there was a good mulch to protect the trees from overgrowth and would rot down to feed the young Forest Garden. The young forest garden well and truly on its way

This Wednesday 24th September Dewi Morris: a local freelance environmental educator will be visiting the Land Based Students of Llanfyllin High School and delivering a series of lectures and practical session out in the Forest Garden. Emyr Jones: the course tutor has committed his students to engage with a programme of learning centered on Llanfyllin’s Forest Garden project – Cae Bodfach.
Over the course of the academic year, the land-based students will learn about the principles of perma-culture and community gardening in particular forest gardens. They will then research and design the second phase of the forest garden. The student will have direct access to the funding made available to the project by Llanfyllin’s Town Council and potentially Keep Wales Tidy. They will use these funds to procure the next phase of plans from the Cwm Harry Cultivate Project based in Newtown.
Dewi Morris will then train the students to lead planting sessions in the forest garden over the coming months for themselves, the eco schools committee and fellow High School students. The project also has the support from Llanfyllin’s Green Hub: a project based in the workhouse Llanfyllin, who have a considerable workshop full of tools for the job. High School Students will also organise guided educational visits by the nearby Primary School and for members of the public.
There are ambitions to organise a series of public seasonal events in the Forest garden starting with a Wassail in the New Year.
Watch this space for more news:

Dewi G Morris
Steve Jones Cultivate/ Sector39

Newtown food festival

food fest reducedWe had a busy weekend at the Newtown food festival. The stall looked great, full of locally grown produce. The weather was great too, which bought out lots of visitors to the event.

We do a regular market every Tuesday in Newtown and today was the first day that Dan our regular garden volunteer worked the stall. He will be taken over the running of the stall in a couple of weeks when Joe Ashley leaves to head off to Uni. Now is the perfect time to be buying local produce with the community garden and local growers producing masses of tasty seasonal harvest the stall is full of a wide variety of fruit and veg.

raised beds and nurseryBack in the garden at Pen Dinas everything is growing well and still thriving even though the night time temperatures are starting to drop. Now is the time to watch out for early frosts. In Llanidloes we have had a couple of light frosts this week, enough to kill off the squash leaves. If frost is looking likely in your area, cover plants with fleece overnight, uncover during the day otherwise things will stay damp and be susceptible to mildew.

blackberry picking

We have a bumper crop of fruit this year. Earlier in the season we have harvested strawberries and raspberries, but in the last few weeks we have had Discovery apples and most the plums. We are just starting to crop blackberries and hazel nuts.

The nursery is getting busy propagating plants for next year. Seri works on the nursery three days a week and is always busy. She can always do with a hand on a Wednesdays and is looking for some keen volunteers, it is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to gain some experience in propagating and nursery work. Please get in touch if you are interested. Plants are sold from site Monday to Friday and also are at the market on Tuesdays.

For anyone keen on taking on a micro allotment we are having a harvest get together on the 7th October at Pen Dinas, for all current and want to be micro allotment holders.

Sunny September in Llani

water collection- reducedWe had a lovely hot and sunny volunteer session this week and the perfect job for such weather. Starting the day with sorting out the water collection and recycling. We have been donated a very mucky IBC which regular volunteer Rees gave a good scrub to get clean.Whilst Brian fixed the gutters and down pipe running off the chapel.  We have also been offered a second water butt which we will link into the system when it arrives. A lot of the garden is made up of raised beds without a lot of soil under them, so they do require a lot of watering. We may not have had the water collection sorted for this summers hot weather but we will be ready for the next spell of dry weather.

tile workshop reducedThe next job for the day was fixing the finished mosaic tiled wall to the kitchen area. It was originally to go on the breeze block wall as a sink splash back, but it looks so fantastic we decided to put it in a prime visable location on our stud wall which makes up the kitchen area. This way it can be seen as soon as you enter the garden. The mosaic was created during a two day workshop hosted by Terri Sweeney as part of the ‘Grow wild’ summer activities. The participants cut and laid the tiles to make up individual letters, then designed insects and plants for the corners. Tiles were place upside down in an indirect method which later Terri fixed and grouted to the eight foot board.

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Terri is a local artist who runs a variety of courses and workshops in the community, at festivals and for schools.

finished tile wall- reduced

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grow wild project has been running through the summer promoting wild and native plants and animals. We have had some funding to enable us to do a series of free summer art workshops for all ages. The last part of this project is to complete the wildlife area in the garden, including establishing a pond and native plants. I have the pond liner ready to go in and have just been donated some old carpet to use as underlay to protect it from stones. Come and get involved on Monday 29th September and 6th October.

Next week in the garden we will be making the last of the raised beds to be used as micro allotments. There are still a few plots available on a first come basis and we still need a donation of a few more planks for our 2m by 1.2m bed. Get in touch or get involved Monday 15th September 10am – 2pm. This will be followed by a short National Botanic Gardens course ‘Extending your growing season’. This course is on 11th October 10am – 1pm and only cost £5. Get started with some over wintering food crops for harvest early next year. To  enrol contact bookings.

Poster short gardening course 2014

We will be finishing our summer season with a half term Grow wild get together in the garden. Keep and eye open for confirmation of time and date. Join us for  a harvest gathering,  bring and share, fire up the pizza oven, sit around the fire pit and have fun with kids activities.

 

Grow wild

10593178_10202302906485938_8824817254722291747_nWe have had a series of grow wild craft workshop over the summer. Irene started the season with creating a colourful wall mural to cover the breeze block wall that backs the kitchen seating area. She followed this last week with a two day workshop making up-cycled insects that are decorating the garden, rambling over walls, crawling up plants and flying around our heads.

It might have been wet but there were still some creatures hatching. Here our regular volunteer Brian is busy helping one emerge.

 

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Meanwhile Terri has been working on the final fixings for the mosaic tiled wall. This workshop was held over a busy 2 days with 20 people attending on Monday to cut and fix tiles to spell out ‘Community garden’. Local youngsters went home inspired to draw designs of insect that were then made from tiles the next day to decorate each corner of the wall. We will be fixing the tiled panel to the wall behind the sink to give a washable hygienic surface in the kitchen area.

As a continuation of our Grow wild season we will be creating a wildlife area to increase the beneficial insects needed to protect all the wonderful bounty of fruit and vegetables from pests. Work will start soon on a viewing platform that will over look this area. On Monday 29th we will be fitting the pond liner and planting native plants. If anyone has any native plants that they can donate to the garden or if you wish to help form this new area please come and get involved or contact the Cultivate team. We will also need old carpets or sand as a liner underneath the pond liner to protect it from sharp stones. Donations gratefully received.

There are still some micro allotments available and we are after donations of wood to help make the raised bed to reduce barriers and encourage people to get growing. Planks either 1.2m or 2m long are needed please contact the team if you can help. On 11th October we are running a National botanic gardens one day gardening course ‘ Veg for autumn sowing’ Only £5 and perfect to get you started. For those wanting a bit more you can join courses through WEA Cymru starting 25th and 26th September in ‘Essential Gardening skills’ for beginners or ‘Level 2 gardening’ for those more experienced and wanting a deeper understanding.

The next couple of Mondays in the garden volunteers and micro allotment holders will be sorting out the water collection system…… better late than never, it will be ready for the next dry spell….

We will also be mulching perennial beds and preparing ground for planting.

 

 

Cultivate co-operative launched with a share issue

First workers shares for Cultivate were issued on Friday – celebrations followed the formal welcoming of these founding shareholders. Looking forward to more joining the formal cooperative and joining in with our local food journey. Cultivate worker cooperative has evolved from the team who have delivered the Get-Growing project. We are committed to developing a strong local food economy and believe this to be an essential component of a future sustainable society.

Get in! Day

Here is a video of Cwm Harry’s ‘Get In’ Open Day which was held on Wednesday, 23rd of October, 2013. Young local people were invited to attend the Cwm Harry Pen Dinas Community Garden to learn more about the local food economy, self-sustainability and more. The day was a great success and this video demonstrates the learning outcomes.

Much thanks to Gary Mitchell, Anne Marie Pope, Kerry Lane, members and volunteers of the Cwm Harry Group and of course every attendee on the special open day.

Filmed and edited by Jamez Wilson

Summer craft workshop

Grow wild-summer craftsAs part of our summer season of Grow Wild workshops we have Terri Sweeney this coming Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th August, in Llani community food garden.Come and get involved making a mosaic tiled mural for the kitchen wall. Hang out in the sun and discuss future potential for this exciting new space. To keep younger children entertained and anyone else, we will be making wild-flower seed bombs to take home.

Please tell your friends and anyone who may be interested, families, artists, cubs, brownies, scouts etc.. Bring your own lunch. This FREE summer crafty workshop for all, is between 10am – 3pm on both days.

Then this will be followed by Insect sculptures on the 26th and 27th August with Irene Gardiner.

Throughout the summer as part of our Grow Wild summer season we will be creating a wildlife area.  Following the design produced by level 2 gardening students from ‘WEA Cymru Llanidloes’, the area will include a pond, planting, viewing platform and fencing. We are looking for donations of native plants, building materials, peoples time and skills. Please contact the Cultivate’s ‘Get Growing‘ team if you can help. Or visit us in Llanidloes on a Monday 10am – 4pm.

For anyone interested in Getting Growing we still have some micro allotment spaces left and we have a selection of growing courses coming up. From taster half and one day practical courses to regular weekly lessons.

25.9. 14 – Level 2 gardening 22 wks each Thurs 9.30- 3pm. – Llanidloes

26.9.14 – Essential gardening 12 wks each Friday 9.30 – 12 – Llanidloes

26.9.14 – Essential gardening 12 wks each Friday 1- 3.30pm – Newtown

11.10.14- Extend your growing season 10am- 1pm – Llanidloes

3.11.14 – Purely practical – overwintering crops 10am-1pm Llanidloes

9.1.14 – Garden design – design your own garden. 12 wks Friday Morning

20.2.14 – Organic gardening, 20 wks Friday afternoons

21.2.14 – Extend your growing season 10am- 1pm – Llanidloes

21.3.14 – Back garden edibles 9.30 – 1pm – Llanidloes

30.5.14 – Summer pruning 10am – 4.30pm – Newtown

Poster gardening courses 2014

Record breaking Welsh cake

 

Last weekend was the Llani chartered market 734th birthday and to celebrate they made the biggest welsh cake ever, aiming to smash the world record.

_MG_7315Chameleon Engineering made the 6 foot pan to cook it on, whilst Welsh Oak Frames donated the wood for the fire. The fire was prepared and kept going by the Llani scout explorer group in the Llani community food garden.   A large scaffolding tripod was made as a trivet shown here.  A whooping £50 worth of ingredients was donated by the Co-op and mixed up in giant mixing bowls.

_MG_7481 copy Once cooked the pan was carried down Great Oak street, weighed and cut with pastry cutters to make ordinary sized welsh cakes for all to try.

When cooked it weighed a massive 26kgs. A world record – was made by a group of volunteers and then cut up and distributed in aid of Air Ambulance.

The last four were saved to put on eBay, buy one here.

 It was Yummmmy. Well done all involved. See moremoremore.