Newtown open day

tourWe held our Autumn harvest open day at Newtown community garden last Saturday. The rain held off most the day allowing people to have a long tour of the site with our gardener Dave Chester-master, and tours of our plant nursery.

nursery entranceSeri who works on the nursery showed visitors behind the scenes, discussing propagation in the polytunnel and the outdoor cutting and stock beds. The nursery is busy preparing Christmas gifts which are now for sale onsite at Pen Dinas, at Newtown Tuesday street market and online. We have Hyacinth bowls and baskets, gift wrapped Aloa vera, Christmas wreaths and some gorgeous little house leeks in cans.

Aloa bags

houseleek tin








The day saw the launch of our online shop. Currently orders can be taken at any time with pick up days on Wed, Thur and Friday from the Newtown community garden, we hope that with more customers we can create other pick up points. Please try out an order and give us your feed back. Don’t forget we do still deliver veg boxes and these can now be ordered on line. Hampers are now available to order for Christmas either onsite or online along with all our other Christmas gifts. Nursery plant sales are not currently online, but orders can be emailed to

membership posterThe open day also  saw the launch of our membership shares, which gives individuals the chance to support the good work we are doing in ‘linking local food and communities’. Our aim is to increase the local food economy, by supporting local food producers and spread the word about global environmental and food issues. Shares can be bought as gifts and we have three different gift options available from £25.




During the day we held an apple pressing workshop by Emma Maxwell, a honey extraction workshop by Richard and Catharyn Edwards and seed saving by expert Sue Stickland.

seed savinghoney


Our resident volunteer chefs Alistair and Chris served up another culinary treat of pizza, onion barjees, cake and biscuits.

The cob oven was fired up in the round house for some lovely fluffy stone backed pizza. This oven was made during a workshop this summer ran by Matthew at the Fabulous Cob oven Company. On November 16th he will be featured on BBC1’s Countryfile. This edition will focus on rural crafts, much of which was filmed at Acton Scott working farm museum in the Shropshire hills.

Future event where you will find a Cultivate stall:

Turning on of the Christmas lights 28th November.

Newtown Christmas market 6th December




Micro allotment harvest party

The end of another growing season is upon us, harvests have been gathered, and over winter planting has begun. The perfect time for a celebration of harvest and a get together without getting our hands dirty. We have over 30 micro allotments and this time of year is when we get together around the fire to discuss successes and failures and plan the year ahead.

potato surveyAfter a rather wet morning the sky cleared and we had a bit of sunshine for the afternoon get together. Our regular chefs in the kitchen Alistair and Chris excelled with a fantastic feast of pizza and salad. But for starter we had a taste testing session to trial the five varieties of blight resistant potatoes that have been grown on site for the last two years as part of a trial to find ‘Easy organic potatoes’ that will suppress weed growth, give good yields with low input, and taste great. The results will be written up over winter and available next year, for anyone who is interest.

cob ovenWe fired up the new cob pizza oven during the day, it takes a few hours to build up the heat in the oven, but once hot it will remain hot long enough to cook for a couple of hours. The oven had been built as a workshop during the summer and is situated just off the round house. Now the the oven has been tried and tested by our resident chefs are keen to have many more pizza sessions.

pizza party

We will be firing up the pizza oven again on our autumn open day on November 8th. There will also be apple pressing, tours and talks, more info to follow.

Latest from Newtown community garden

Plenty of activities planned for November in the Newtown community garden. There is now list on the right hand column of the home page with all of our up and coming training events, many which will also get featured in the blog.


We are also planning a full day course: Composting Masterclass which at the moment is planned for March 1 st next year, if you are interested in this then please let us know. This will be based at Treflach farm near Oswestry, which is a 100 acre stock farm who are dedicated to finding organic solutions to their farm waste and input challenges and there will be a chance to find out about farm scale composting processes, the possibilities for heat recovery from compost and much more. Of course compost is subject very close to Cwm Harry’s heart and Richard Northridge will also be contributing to this event, who developed Cwm Harry’s food waste composting systems in our work with Powys County Council.


The Cwm Harry staff outside the Ludlow Anaerobic Plant

It has been an incredibly busy month for the whole Cwm Harry organisation, we managed to have a staff get together to discuss plans and strategies going forward. Since Cwm Harry ceased its food waste collection and composting services for Powys council we have been busy diversifying into other areas. We have launched Cultivate.. the new organisation which will manage the Get-Growing project, plant nursery and veg box business. We are also merging with Sector39, the permaculture training partnership developed by Steve Jones over the last year and are now offering training drawing from right across Cwm Harry’s skills base, food, composting, affordable housing and much more.


Beautifully patterned romanesque broccoli, growing at Pen Dinas in Newtown


Patterning in the roof of the new erected roundhouse in the Newtown garden

The Newtown community garden is developing past and it has been a great to see the roundhouse going back up, which was a focal point in the old garden on the Vastre trading estate. This will serve as a shelter for our community mico plot holders and we are planning a series of courses to complete the sides using a range of traditional techniques such as wattle and daub, rammed earth, hemp and lime and more.


Rhys and Jonno working on the turf roof on the roundhouse


Volunteer Alex with one of his beautiful hand crafted garden gates


Late crop of grapes in the Newtown garden

Rebuilding the roundhouse

Ready for rebuild

Ready for rebuild

We are excited to finally get around to rebuilding the roundhouse that we built at the old garden behind the Cwm Harry compost factory on the Vastre estate, It was designed by Ian Watt and Steve Jones, with technical help from Clive Numan and Ritchie Stephenson. Is built by a team of volunteers and it helped attract a lot of attention to the garden as well as allowing us involve lots of volunteers. One of the main volunteers of the first build was David Thomas, who is going to be leading on the rebuild. He is going to be blogging on this site about his progress on the build and will be inviting people to come along and get involved at appropriate moments, so stay tuned for updates.

Hannah from Permaculture Ireland at the Cwm Harry roundhouse last year.

Hannah from Permaculture Ireland at the Cwm Harry roundhouse last year.