It was great to be back at the Llanfyllin Workhouse project this week, working along side the team there to help develop their community growing aspirations utilising the 6 1/2 half acres that surround the historic building. The 5 day Community Garden Design Course was commissioned by the Llanfyllin Green Hub project and delivered by the Cwm Harry Skills team.
As part of the the Sector39 partnership I have previously run 2 permaculture design courses there at the Dolydd and indeed we were based there for two years from 2009-2011 so I am very familiar with the site.
Cwm Harr’ys Get-Growing project has one year left to run and the third target area to work with is Llanfyllin. So this was an ideal opportunity for us all to work more closely with each other and to use the the Green Hub project to develop links between the various projects in the area. Between the community field and Cae Godfach, the allotments and now the Workhouse there is plenty of opportunity for coordinated action.
It was very encouraging to see how some of the previous projects have really taken root and developed, so it is also exciting to thik about what hopefully might come out this latest crop of ideas for the Workhouse gardens.
A proposal was made for consideration from the Community Garden design course.. that the Workhouse allow the Green Hub to use the currently disused barns for the coming year as abase for the Green Hub. The intention would be to hold weekly )Friday afternoon?) sessions there… as a base for skill sharing, community growing activities, selling produce and crafts and generally acting as focal point. As it is not part of the workhouse, or the community, it might provide an ideal neutral space for people to drop in, and either become involved in community growing activities around the community, including of course at the Workhouse as well. Local artisans have already expressed interest in perhaps using it as an outlet to sell crafts, distribute surplus produce etc.
The Design group presented a collective vision of the Workhouse being a key hub in the local community growing scene. Via projects like the Green Hub and working with organisations like Cwm Harry they can use a series of courses, skill sharing and community events to both develop and manage the gardens at the Dolydd. Earlier plantings of fruit trees, living willow and forest gardens have all thrived there adding interest, edges and productivity to what is already a beautiful location.
For the organisation itself to thrive it needs to use its landscape and ambitions for protecting wildlife and biodiversity also as a way to actively build links with the wider community. From community gardening days, produce sales, tool sharing and maintaining,,, there are many ways a local Green hub group could contribute to the Workhouse and the wider community. Watch this space for updates!