Beds, and Bikes and Veg, Oh My!

17 Mar


It’s been an eventful week at the St Mary’s hub.  The beds (which are HUGE) have been beautifully built by Alvan, our friendly neighbourhood craftsman.



We’re going to have these filled over the next couple of weeks.  That’s a lot of soil, and alot of space for food!


The ideas been in the pipeline for a little while, but it’s slowly starting to take shape for the ‘mobile veg’ scheme.  A group of bike and growing enthusiasts got together to talk about how we can help older people to continue gardening and enjoying home-grown organic food.  Gemma had some great ideas that might be the beginning of something:

– A bunch of volunteers can get together to grow with older people who want to keep gardening, but might need a bit of help to do the physical activities.  Aim:  grow tons of food and share lots of knowledge.

– When the fruit and vegetables are grown, we distribute them by bike trailer to people who can’t get out of the house very easily.  It’d be great if we could eat the food we bring together.

Want to get involved or have some great ideas?  Contact us on


With the beds as yet empty, the ‘Learn English, Grow Food’ group opted to plant some chives and spinach up to grow on at home.   We had two particularly keen gardeners turn up.  They hadn’t heard of the word ‘organic’ before, but they’ve been practising what they call the ‘all natural’ approach for years.


Thanks for helping out Trevor!

There was some discussion over whether it would be better to run the session on a Monday, and we’ve agreed to have the next one on the 26th.  We need volunteers to help the learners practise their conversation skills.  So if you want to help out on a Monday at 1.30pm, get in touch and please feel free to spread the word.









Getting Started

5 Mar

With warmer weather comes a busy week at St Mary’s.  Here’s the low down on what we’ve been up to.


We kicked off with a chitting session with a toddler and parent group that’s been going at the community centre for over twenty years.   Chitting is a weird gardening word for letting potatoes sprout for a few weeks before you plant them.  It gives them a good head start.

It’s pretty simple:  you pop seed potatoes on a tray in a cool but light place and wish really hard that they’ll grow legs like the ones you leave in your cupboard.  To spice things up a bit we made potato sailors on egg box boats.  Ahoy!


Why buy a propagator when you can make one?  The ‘Learn English’ class recycled some pop bottles today into miniature greenhouses to start off peas.  They’re looking after them for a couple of weeks at home and then bringing them back to be planted out.  They’re the sweet kind you get from a pod – good for picking to enjoy in class come the summer.


The Sharrow Showcase at the Old Junior School brought out loads of people from the local community to enjoy the best of what Sharrow has to offer.  The place was absolutely packed.   Beth and Jerry (Community Growers Co-ordinator for Sharrow) ran a drop-in workshop to show how you can grow
runnerbeans, peas and other seeds in toilet rolls.  Did you know that once they’re happy little plants you can plant them straight into the ground?  The roots find their way out through the bottom and toilet rolls will break down into your soil no problem.

We sowed about twenty-five toilet rolls.  That’s a lot of plants sprouting up around London Road!

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