Launch of Open Food Gardens 2013
The programme of Open Food Gardens was launched at the Courtyard Cafe in April. Throughout the summer you can visit the cafe and have a look at the Transition St Albans demonstration garden. Find out more information about the open gardens programme below:
This year three gardens will be open. For further details go to: Open Food Gardens 2013
As part of the Open Food Gardens programme two members of the Home Grown Food Group are opening their gardens once a month from April to September to look at particular skills in growing vegetables. Heather and June are both amateur vegetable growers and want to take out some of the mystery about growing food.
For more information and dates and times go to: Skill sharing
What we did in 2012
The Home Grown Food Group had a successful season of activities in 2012. It was launched in style at Transition’s demonstration garden at The Courtyard Café in April, was followed by a Plant Extravaganza held at the Fleetville Community Centre in mid-May, before moving on to the Open Food Gardens themselves from late May until late September. In spite of the difficult growing season this summer, only one of the seven gardens was unable to open, because the plants had not put on enough growth.
For a list of the Open Food Gardens and a brief description of each please go here
Visitors to the gardens were able to see for themselves the variety of vegetables you can grow in a relatively small space and get tips on composting and water conservation. The social aspect of visiting other people’s gardens was as important this year as ever before as gardeners shared their experience of growing in such difficult conditions.
Several of the OpenFoodGarden owners entered the St Albans in Bloom Competition in the SustainableGarden section. We are proud to announce that the overall winner of this section was June Whetherly, a member of the Home Grown Food Group. This is the second year in succession that a member of Transition St Albans Home Grown Food Group has won the Sustainable Garden Award.
Grow it, cook it, eat it
On Tuesday 2nd October the Home Grown Food Group organised their contribution to the St Albans Food and Drink Festival. This took place in the garden of The Farmer’s Boy pub. Members of the group brought examples of the vegetables they have grown and some produce they have made like jam, chutney and cake to share.
Future events and projects
The Plant Extravaganza, OpenFoodGardens and Grow it, cook it, eat it projects will continue to be run in 2013. In order to make the existing projects happen we will need support:
- for gardens to be included in the OpenFoodGardens project for 2013
- for volunteers to help organise and administer the scheme
- for people to grow small vegetable plants for the Plant Extravaganza
- for people to help maintain and plant The Courtyard Café garden
We would like to move on to more ambitious projects such as:
- Fruit harvesting
- Land share
If you would like more information about any of these projects or would like to be involved in any of them please contact us at: info AT transitionstalbans DOT org.
Open Food Gardens Project
This project is about organising a series of open days bringing together people willing to show how they are growing food in their front or back garden at home and people who are considering doing the same, to enable the latter to see what it involves and to ask questions.
The intention is to show gardens at different times in the year and to illustrate the many different ways in which people use their garden space, make compost etc.
The project is a variation on the Lewes model outlined on page 50 of the “Local Food” book recently published by the Transition Network.
Fruit Harvesting Initiative
Do you know of any fruit trees in your vicinity?
This project is about making the most of one’s local resources, reducing waste, eating fresh fruit and connecting with your community. We were particularly inspired by a fellow Transition initiative in North London. They produced an excellent video, ‘Shaking the tree’, that encapsulates the idea:
A presentation at a recent open meeting about the benefits of fruit harvesting and how it can work in St Albans can be found here: Fruit Harvesting Initiative
One of our Transition members has undertaken fruit harvesting training and will gladly explain further.
Square Foot Garden Project
In January 2010, Peter B. started a Square Foot Garden (SFG). Square Foot Gardening is all about growing things in a small space, which is also an excellent way to get started growing your own. Peter has been keeping a diary of his endeavor on his blog here.
If you would like to get involved or find out more about any of the aforementioned initiatives, contact: food@transition DOT org