Friday, 2 August 2013

The dawn of a new era

For two months I have been silent on this blog. It has taken a while (5 years ) but I have finally been taken the plunge and moved out of the big city. I never imagined how liberating it would be, for me, leaving the hustle and bustle of London behind. Living in the country does have it's challenges and short falls, one being waiting over two hours between buses to and from the major towns. I love the pace of life here, but I do sometimes find myself yearning for the hive of activity that is London town.
We, my wife to be and I, have built our new home and have settled in quite comfortably. However I have been braving the two hour train journey down to London to help keep the momentum of the May Project Gardens going. Over the past month I have delivered three workshops, and have made significant headway on the new site (yet to be named). The workshops were very well received with everyone confirming that they leant something both new and interesting, and enjoyed working together with like minded people to create something that would benefit the community for some time to come. Last time I mentioned that we had created two raised beds, since then we have created two more raised vegetable beds, a small flower bed and built a compost bin. 
A polyculture bed (foreground) and
potato bed (background)
Workshop participants getting
ready to make a new bed
Raised bed built during
vegetable growing workshop
Compost bin built during
composting workshop
We were also graced with a visit from a group of young people participating in a programme called The Challenge. This is the second year the May Project is involved with this programme. The plan is to get this group of young people more directly involved with community development initiatives. After a short tour of the May Project Gardens I took the group for a stroll down to the pack to show them the potential of under utilised green spaces in London.
Enjoying the smells and tastes of
The May Project Gardens
Visiting Morden Recreational Ground
Back in the May Project Gardens, two new major development. The new pond is now planted up and the frogs have found their way in and are making themselves right at home. We have also completed the composting toilet and so far so good. No bad odours, no files, no rats, and no one falling in.
The finished Composting toilet 
The throne
We had a month of no rain so most of the plants were slow in their growth and in my absence may of the young seedlings didn't make it through. Never the less the high diversity and interconnections of elements ensured that there is still plenty to harvest. The chards were a welcome addition to salads and stews, as were the garlic and onions. Most of the lettuce bolted due to lack of harvesting. There has also been a substantial harvest of both red and back currents.    
Harvesting Red currants 

There is a lot going on in London but what about here in Norfolk?? Well I've built a raised bed which I have been using as a polyculture bed and we have also built a small herb spiral and a twin compost bin. Plus we have taken on half an allotment.

I have also been doing a fair bit of creative woodworking. So far I have made two box cases, a small desk, and a chair all using shipping pallets. I am currently working on  making a model green house using empty 250ml water bottles.
Building a small bookcase
Pallet chair
It works
I'll leave it there for now. But before I go I just wanted to share this clever poster I stumbled upon recently.