Clay oven and open day in Llanidloes

Oven insulating layerWe started the second day of the clay oven workshop glad to find it had survived the rain and wind over night. The clay hadn’t dried as much as we hopped which meant we had to progress slowly during the day. We mixed up the clay slip with sawdust to make the insulating layer and applied that it stages.

time for teaWe had to leave it then to dry, so lots of time for tea and chats. Lots of visitors popped in to take a look at the progress around the site and sign up for a micro allotment. The final layer will be finished next Monday during our regular volunteering session.

Meanwhile we continued to work on the sunken seating area,  regular volunteer Brian gaining help from Aidan and little Sammy. We are now ready for constructing the bench seat and putting in a solid floor.

sunken seating area

Two of the micro allotment holders have bought raised beds from our cultivate site in Newtown, so while we had some time Alexandra and I put the  beds together.

We have a regular volunteer day every Monday and have several events coming up. Including a willow weaving course with local weaver Beryl Smith. Sunday 9th March only £5. We will be lighting the oven and having a Pizza lunch with local artisan bread maker Andy on Sunday 30th March. The same day we are running a bug hotel making session for all the family 10am – 2pm.

raised beds

Designing productive public spaces

Site for the new Llanidloes public growing space, before being cleared by the Get-Growing team and volunteers

Site for the new Llanidloes public growing space, before being cleared by the Get-Growing team and volunteers

Urban areas are full of dead spaces. Disused land, vancant lots, verges ad roadsides and the spaces in between bigger buildings. They either require maintenance, become blighted and neglected or a just a wasted potential. With the prospect of escalating energy and food costs and tightening of government budgets it makes increasing sense to turn these spaces into productive ones that can be maintained and harvested by local residents.

Planning and building public productive gardens still takes some careful planning and consultation and to that end we have developed a 5 day how to design a community garden course. We use this learning process as a design workshop to design a real garden and as a way to train future community garden designers.

designteam

Study group working on the Llanidloes community growing space design at the Get-Growing project base in Newtown

We are really pleased with the outcome and the work on the new growing space in Llanidloes has already begun. The process is based on the permaculture design tools part of the permaculture design course, alongside intensive sessions on organic principles, soils and gardening for nature. The course was delivered by Emma Maxwell, Steven Jones and Sue Stickland.

We are currently using he same process to design a community garden on a high rise estate in Liverpool and working with local residents from the Stockbridge estate to design a build a community forest garden on top of what was the footings of where one of the 1960’s high rise blocks had been taken down.

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Carole one of the volunteers on the Liverpool project, with some of the produce we grew on an unused space on the Stockbridge estate

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The Denecliff high rise overlooks the area where we have been allowed to build our next community growing space.

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Our project polytunnel in Liverpool is behind the service area of the local shopping precinct. We have been busy propagating plants for the garden there over the last year,

Public growing space for Llanidloes

Cwm Harry have a reputation in Mid Wales for its passion about waste reduction and turning food waste into high nutrient compost for growers. What people know less perhaps is that Cwm Harry also has a passion for growing local food and the Get-Growing project, funded by the national lottery was a result of nearly three years of hard work developing a garden at the old compost factory on the Vastre estate.

Llani new garden site

So now we have established a public accessible space for growing in Newtown as part of our commitments via the Get-Growing project we are seeking to do the same for Llanidloes. Work is already underway clearing the site for the garden and Emma Maxwell have been leading a local team of volunteers over the last few weeks.

busy workers

clear site

The cleared site, ready for work to begin

Next stage is to come up with a design for the garden, and we are running the design process as a 5 day course which will mainly be based at the Pen Dinas garden in Newtown. Part of this includes a Public Consultation with local residents and potential garden stakeholders, which will take place on Wednesday 25th September.

Please Get In touch if you would like to contribute to this process. This is open to any one in the Llanidloes area who would like to help shape the garden design to better meet local needs.

 

New community growing space for Llanidloes

The Get-Growing team is coming to Llanidloes to help establish a new food growing community garden. The new site will be at the back of Picton Street and Great Oak Street (behind old Benbows/ Benjis). There will be a communal growing space and micro allotments.
llani

In September we are running a community garden design course so that the community can design their own garden. The course is £125 full price but places are available for £25  for volunteers and community members working on the project. This is a 5 day intensive course teaching elements of permaculture design, surveying, scale drawing and client interviews, resulting in a finished design of the site.

We are starting to clear the site now, ready to start building the structure of the garden during the autumn/  winter after the design course.

Volunteer sessions will be every Thursday afternoon 2pm – 4.30pm, Starting the 1st August.

Please tell your friends and anyone who may be interested to meet me (Emma) in the café garden (Behind the vegi café Great Oak Street), prompt at 2pm and I will show you where the garden to be developed is. In following weeks we will meet at the new site.

We look forward to working with you.

Here's one we did earlier. Wildlife garden in Llanidloes, designed by Emma Maxwell, of Get-Growing

Here’s one we did earlier. Wildlife garden in Llanidloes, designed by Emma Maxwell, of Get-Growing

Community Garden Design course

Community Garden design course 2013

Community Garden design course 2013

We ran this week long course last year to design the Pen Dinas community garden site we have here in Newtown. This year we are going to be working on a community garden site in Llanidloes as well as a school site Caersws. The 5 day course will be based in Newtown at the Get-Growing centre next to Coleg Powys. The course will be an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in community growing, garden design, permaculture and putting those interests into practice. Our towns and communities are full of odd unused spaces.. just going begging for someone with a bit of drive and imagination to see the potential it. Dead urban blighted spaces can quickly become attractive and productive wild life heavens.

With tutors Emma Maxwell, Sue Stickland (tbc) and Steve Jones you will get an insight in garden design process, drawing and presenting ideas as well as a thorough intuition into the principles of natural systems and working with nature and wildlife. Participants will get to take part in designing a real site, undertaking client interviews and in generating an integrated site design.

The resulting design will be implemented and there will be an opportunity for local residents to become fully involved in this process.

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This community wildlife garden was designed and planted by course tutor Emma Maxwell 4 years ago.. it is jsut a few yards away from the derelict site we hope to redesign and shows the potential of what could be achieved

The focus for the week is fun, practical and in generating a real tangible outcome. This will give you the tools and confidence to go out and design a community garden for yourself. Full price of £125 includes lunches and the whole course.. but for those involved in community gardening, either actively or as a volunteer then there are places available on application for £25 only.

This challenging but excellent site has all the ingredients that we look for in a site and to a certain extent the dereliction and waste make it even more attractive in the light of the potential for transformation.

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Emma Maxwell and volunteer contemplate the site at Llanidloes that we have been offered as a potential community garden.

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