Category Archives: Community Garden

Garden (work) Party and BBQ

After church on Sunday we had a garden work party and bring-and-share barbeque. Besides some fantastic food we managed to get quite a lot of tidying up done in the garden. Well done everyone!

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You are what you eat?

  

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Ruth’s birthday

It was Ruth’s birthday so James planned a party, picnic and barbeque in the church gardens. Every one had a great time, especially the children (and James!)

ruth1 ruth2

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Caterpillar count

These little beasties were on some ragwort growing in the church grounds. They are the caterpillar of the cinnabar moth, a beautiful day time moth which you might see flying around the church gardens if you watch carefully.

These creatures have fascinating behaviour including being poisonous to some predators and also being cannibals! You can find out more about them on Wikipedia or many other good websites

Cinnabar moth caterpillars

Apologies for the quality of the photo which was taken on my old phone.

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Eucharistic interruption

distraction2There was a rival attraction during the Eucharist today when the children noticed a fox with her cubs playing in our terrace garden.

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Work Morning 21st June 2014

Summer solstice – the longest day. A time to get outside and celebrate God’s abundant creation.

So that is what we did today, we had a work morning and barbeque. Because of the beautiful weather we spent nearly all of the time out in the church and vicarage gardens, cutting the abundantly growing grass, planting more fruit trees, tidying the memorial garden, clearing the access route to the new gate into the garden and cleaning the patio area.

Many visitors dropped in to say hello and inspect the garden and it was great to have visitors from the meditation group and a couple from Norfolk who studied here in Leeds back in the 1960s.

The barbeque helped to refuel us and we are very pleased with the progress we have made. The garden is beginning to look fantastic and fruitful with apples, strawberries, peas and rosehips (eventually!) There is a long way to go, loads still to be done but progress is being made and the garden shows that even with poor stony soil it is possible to grow food. If only we shared God’s abundance more equally I am sure there would be enough to go round!

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My apologies for the lack of photos this time, we were so busy I forgot to take many!

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… let my children go!

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It was pointed out to me today that when the Bible talks about the “Children of Israel” it didn’t mean just the children. So maybe I shouldn’t have put all the children of All Hallows’ into slavery today. Oh well, too late!

But what fantastic slaves they made – though I was told that I wasn’t a very friendly slave driver! We have been toiling in the garden since the spring and progress has been so painfully slow at times as we have hacked through the stony soil in an attempt to make a garden. In come the slaves and, wow, they have the paths built in no time at all.

A huge thank you  to all the slaves (children), overseers (adults) and Buster the Lion-Dog for all their efforts, to Steve and helpers for the barbeque, and to Katherine Hogg from Christian Aid who preached today about the people of South America who harvest the Brazil nut and protect the forests against the huge economic might of companies who want to grab the land and, in effect, force the people into economic slavery. May we all find the same passion and anger that Jeremiah and Amos had against these forms of oppression, and may we find ways to stand and support those who are being or are in danger of being oppressed.

Now, where have my slaves gone?

King Tuten-Magnall, Pharaoh of the Upper Garden of All Hallows’
(otherwise known as church warden!)

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When Israel was in Egypt’s land …..

When Israel was in Egypt’s land the Israelites were slaves and had to do all sorts of manual labour by hand, and they had to sort out their own food!

overseer and slave

You are all invited to join us in the garden next Sunday after church when you have the choice of being treated like slaves, building paths out of stone with your bare hands, or dressing up as Egyptian overseers!

 

Actually, we just want to “chill out” in the garden, enjoy the space, share food together, ….. and build the odd path!

Do come along and join us. If you can, bring some food along to share. If you are really keen there is a barbeque and some charcoal but someone will need to organise it and let everyone know to bring sausages, etc (I’m going to be overseeing the slaves building the paths!)

And if the weather is inclement – the Israelite slaves just had to put up with it – but we’ll decamp to the café.

Paul

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Work morning 21st September 2013

I arrived at church this morning just in time to “capture” the sunrise in the church windows and I thought how wonderful it would be to be able to remove the grills one day soon and “free” the reflection of the sun!

sunrise

 

We weren’t expecting many workers to day but we managed to achieve quite a bit. The windows at the front of the cafe and office were sanded down and under-coated by Richard (except we ran out of paint!) Sonia and Iris made some progress in the kitchen closely supervised by Danny!

The garden has not had the attention it should have done over the last few weeks with Tony and Joanne moving away – they are greatly missed – but I managed to get the posts and wires set up along the fence at the top of the wall. We will be growing some plants up the posts and wires to provide some protection from the wind and to help make the fence more secure and safe.

fence

Despite a bit of neglect the peas and beans have done very well and I was able to pick half a washing bowl full. The rose-hips look fantastic – perhaps someone might like to make some rose-hip syrrup (or wine!) and the apple trees have done very well, especially the “Bloody Ploughman”.

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So, another productive work morning. Here’s to the next one!

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Community Garden – 20th & 21st July 2013

Work continues in the garden and it is beginning to bear fruit – well veg – as we picked peas and beans this weekend and ate them together during the barbeque after our work morning on Saturday. The children also picked some after church on Sunday morning and “shared the peas” with the rest of the church over tea and coffee.

On Saturday we  cut some of the grass, did some weeding and tidying along with starting to edge one of the beds with stones ably helped by some of the local children who seemed to enjoy being in our green space (and slightly brown due to lack of rain).

One of the big problems with our garden is the soil, it is quite thin, poor and very dry with loads of rubble just under the surface. We are trying to source some free topsoil but this has not been successful yet. The lack of depth of soil has meant that our first vegetable bed has had to be raised and has used the soil from where we were planning another bed leaving a big hole. It was while reflecting on the quality of the soil and where we might get some that I suddenly realised that I had become blinkered in my thinking! One way of creating a raised bed, creating good soil and getting rid of some of the garden waste all at the same time is to bury the garden waste and make what is called a Hugel-Kultur bed. These beds have been well demonstrated by an Austrian called Sepp Holzer who makes Hugel-Kultur beds using whole trees on a mountain side in Austria. As the wood and green waste rots down it provides a home for lots of beneficial microbes and fungi in the soil, helps to trap and store water and traps carbon dioxide in the soil. I have made two mini-hugel beds in my home garden with considerable Hugel Kultur bed 1success. Since we had just generated a load of garden “waste” on the Saturday by pruning back shrubs, hedges and trees at the front of the church along with cutting the grass this was the perfect opportunity to find a new home for it and create some soil so on Sunday afternoon we moved it all into the big hole that Tony, Joanne and others had dug. You can see in the picture that there is a wide range of plant material including a few solid branches, a Christmas tree, etc. It is important that we use materials that will rot down and don’t inhibit fungi and bacteria. Our next step will be to add some more grass cuttings, water well ( I think the thunderstorms of today (Tuesday) will have done a pretty good job, cover over with soil and then immediately plant up with a good green manure – we will probably use red clover – which will provide much needed nitrogen to the soil. Into this we will eventually be able to plant vegetables – at home I have grown some superb tomatoes and squashes.

For more on Hugel-Kultur beds read:

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