GrowingSouthwark's Blog


‘How to Get a Community Garden Growing’-15 page TTB guide
May 11, 2010, 9:10 pm
Filed under: allotments, compost, edible, planting, Uncategorized

Launch of our new Grower’s Pack by Transition Town Brixton-a great resource:

‘How to Get a Community Garden Growing’

This 15 page guide to establishing a community garden in and around Brixton is full of information. From ‘first things’ to finding land, from soil to skills, from insurance to involving others, it has lots of advice and links to resources.

The guide has been written by members of the Food and Growing Group using their experience over the last year in setting up community gardens. To those involved in its production, apologies for the delay in finalizing it, we have had difficulties with file formats. We are very grateful to Chris Rodier for sorting this out for us.

To encourage the establishment of more gardens we would love to make it widely available, so please download and print out a copy for your local group. Or collect a copy from the shop (they aren’t there yet, but will be soon when we have arranged printing).  It can be downloaded from our website:

http://transitiontowns.org/Brixton/HowToGetACommunityGardenGoing

Best wishes and hope to see you soon,

Coordinators Katy Press, Katy Thompson and Penny Noy

Transition Town Brixton
Food & Growing Group



Growing Southwark Gathering
April 28, 2010, 9:36 pm
Filed under: edible, meetings, Uncategorized, volunteering, wild

Our next gathering is Wednesday 12th May at 7.30

Note NEW VENUE:
Upstairs room at Le Petit Parisien,
16 Grove Lane
Camberwell, London SE5 8SY

Map: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=532721&Y=176666&A=Y&am

Feel free to buy a drink at the bar and bring it upstairs, but it is not compulsory. Water will be provided and as we have Ceri from Invisible Food with us we will be having various tastings!

**Ceri Buck from Invisible Food-will be our guest speaker speaking about wild foods available in May and what we can do with them;

**Tool, seed/plant and pot swap-any spare seeds to swap, have you extra tomato plants you don’t need and would like to pass on or tools that you no longer need or are a bit rusty (we can get them regenerated and pass them on) or do you have a pile of pots you are not using?! Then bring them along to swap.



Foyles-urban gardening window display-priceless!!
April 8, 2010, 9:39 pm
Filed under: edible, green corners, salad leaves, tomatoes

I am loving Foyles new window display SOOOOOOOOOOOO much that I have nominated it for a ‘Green Corners for Health and Wellbeing award’ see here: http://www.conservationfoundation.co.uk/content.php?id=72 and the previous post on my blog:


Here’s what I said in my nomination email:

‘ Foyles have produced a no.1: the first Urban Gardenwindow display (this may need its own separate category!). What better way to promote urban growing than in central London itself. The window is a natural greenhouse, with a little love and tender care Foyles will be selling their produce in their café! Watch out Selfridges will be doing it next (wouldn’t that be fun!). In the window they have tumbling tomatoes in a pail, climbing peas in a water tank, two pot plants of peas, radishes in the corner and a row of lettuce in the front. It would be great to see them add tumbling nasturtiums for some flowery colour. For me this shows that anyone can grow edible plants anywhere I just love it! Please make Foyles a winner and keep an eye on Facebook to see how their growing grows! http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-United-Kingdom/Foyles/117517935932

foyles window2



Volunteering opportunties-This Sunday 11th April
April 7, 2010, 3:15 pm
Filed under: compost, cossall estate, edible, planting, sowing

Sunday, 11 April 2010
10:00 – 13:00
Myatts Field Park
Greenhouse planting:
-Sow, sow, sow!
-Herbs, salad leaves and marigolds in the greenhouse.
-Lots to do and gravel to shift too, so come with your sleeves rolled up and pitch in!

and later in the afternoon:

Cossall Estate Growing Project on Cossall Park, Peckham, SE15
Sunday, 11 April 2010
14:30 – 17:00
Cossall Park, north end of Gordon Road
It’s raising the bed time! We have some more top soil to add as the bed settles. The grass needs raking and any soil conditioner bagging for the next bed….and then we need to start sowing some seeds!! sow, sow, sow…………..

All hands on deck for this final push!
Cossall Park is here: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=534639&Y=176585&A=Y&Z=110&ax=534669&ay=176596



We did it-Cossall Estate Community Growing Project has its first 20m raised bed
March 30, 2010, 11:00 am
Filed under: cossall estate, edible, flowers, planting, sowing, wild

Cossall Estate residents, Growing Southwark volunteers, a team from Veoila with 2 master carpenters worked together from Thursday-Sunday to erect a 20×1.5×0.6 meter raised bed for the Cossall Estate Community Growing Projects first raised bed for their edible garden.

Day 1 – Thursday 10-5

We started building on Thursday morning with 2 master craftsmen and a pile of wood.

Our two master craftsmen

In the beginning-there was wood

Pile of soil improver from Veolia

Top soil being delivered, bought from Terrafirma.

Veolia team at H&S briefing

Then we were joined by a team from Veolia Environmental on their ‘work in the community day’ who busied themselves wheelbarrowing 7 tonnes of donated soil improver to the raised bed site, sinking post holes, concreting posts, assisting our master craftsmen, weeding the sensory garden and generally being most excellent and full of humour on a very wet Thursday.

Unfortunately the lorry  with its ‘Hiab’ couldn’t get onto site so we had to wheelbarrow the soil improver and top soil round from its storage location! This was a major task and without the many volunteers and their humble wheelbarrows we would never have succeeded!! So our pile of soil improver was moved in a day to the raised bed site.

digging post holes

digging post holes

site action

site action

veolia group shot

veolia group shot

Day 2-Friday. 1-5

The raised bed was finished and half lined and all the soil improver moved inside the fence to keep the site tidy.

Residents:  children and parents alike enjoyed the activity and the opportunity for a bit of digging and all worked well together with smiles on their faces.

The 'new' pile of soil improver

The 'new' pile of soil improver

Half a lined bed

Half a lined bed

James bond stapling action shot!

James bond stapling action shot!

Day 3 – Saturday 11-1

The raised bed was fully lined, pebble gravel added at the bottom for drainage and the first wheelbarrow of top soil added:

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-9v1bC-WQc. Yeah!

Getting stuck in- more young helpers

Getting stuck in- more young helpers

Chair of the TRA gets stuck into the dirt!

Chair of the TRA gets stuck into the dirt!

More young helpers

More young helpers

Day 4-Sunday 11-4

Will we or wont we get the raised bed finished-that was the question?

It was a quiet start, but with hands to wheelbarrows we got into our rhythm and managed to shift 5 bags of  top soil into the bed. We needed to get the mix right a 2:1 ratio of top soil: soil improver so this was mixed in the bed, with help from all.

Young fun!

Young fun!

At the end, we had a flurry of activity with the final third of the bed filled with all residents ‘on deck’.

It's busy on site!

It's busy on site!

Double ramps-the final push!

Double ramps-the final push!

So how to celebrate the first raised bed for the edible garden…well we planted Sunflowers, Broad Bean plants from the growing session in February and some marigolds (great companion plants for tomatoes).  See Tom’s blog http://tom.acrewoods.net/2010/03/29/growing-the-cossall-estate/

Planting sunflowers

Planting sunflowers

To celebrate we feasted on Wild nettle and chickweed risotto (gathered from the sensory butterfly beds) with some added vegetables supplied by a local resident and artist.  Ceri and Segan from ‘Invisible Foods’ cooked this fine celebratory feast on an outside stove. Yum, yum.

Feast on the hill

Feast on the hill

Wild nettle and chickweed risotto for the hard workers!

Wild nettle and chickweed risotto for the hard workers!

And in true community style, this project has brought residents closer together. Thankyou to all for their hardwork, humour and smiles. We all had a great time..watch this space for more activity, we have more beds to build and so there will be more growing to be done. If you have a spare moment to volunteer then please get in contact.

True community spirit-all ages together

True community spirit-all ages enjoying a moment together

Funded by a Cleaner, Greener, Safer grant from Southwark Council.

Capital Growth project 73.



Greenfingered volunteers needed this weekend at Myatt’s Field
March 16, 2010, 12:29 pm
Filed under: edible, myatts field, planting, sowing

Saturday 20th 10-12- Greenhouse Myatts Field-compost delivery and cleaning for Sunday sowing session

The greenhouse needs cleaning inside, the gravel needs washing and putting back on the tables ready for sowing of seeds on Sunday.

Delivery of 100 bags of Soil Improver-this needs unloading and storing.

Sunday 20th 10-1- Greenhouse Myatts Field- sowing workshop-sowing cucumber, aubergine and pepper seeds for the greenhouse.

Sunday 20th 2-4 at Roots and Shoots (entrance on Lambeth Walk opposite Imperial War Museum- – sowing workshop-sowing edible flowers, one pot to take home, one pot for the greenhouse. We will be planting in recycled containers-so if you have any Tetrapaks, milk cartons, tins, plastic tray, tights etc…then bring them along and we will plant in them!

Hope you can make it!



Edible flowers-
March 14, 2010, 5:00 pm
Filed under: edible, flowers

Edible flowers-http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac/agopp/arc/agopv4n1.txt

The list of edible flowers is just about as long as the list of
poisonous flowers. The longest list, however, is of the “perhaps
blossoms”-perhaps they are edible and perhaps they are not. At the
top of nearly every list of edible flowers is nasturtiums/pansies
both by virtue of their color and taste. The list would also include
spring crocus, California poppy, baby’s breath, violets, including
African violets, forsythia, Easter lily (Lillium longiflorum),
dogwood, dandelion, phlox, petunia, penny, gardenia, marigolds,
impatiens, hibiscus snapdragons, yucca daylilies, gladiolus, squash,
flowering herbs including chicory, anise, hyddop, lavender, chives,
clary, sage, rocket, dill, rosemary, basil, coriander, garlic,
chives, lemon balm, lemon verbena, oregano, thyme, borage, bee balm,
mints, chrysanthemums (C. monifolium), lilac, elderberry, calendula,
dianthus, primrose, wild geranium, Rosa (obviously including roses
but also other members of the genus such as apple blossoms, plum,
peach, pear and hawthorne), honeysuckle, hollyhocks, daisy (Bellis
perennis, wild and cultivated). Johnny-jump-up, red clover, mallow,
yarrow, tulip, beans (especially white dutch, emperor runner,
scarlet and hyacinth bean-not really a bean but Dolichos lablab,
garden peas (not sweet peas which are poisonous), and sunflowers.
This list is not intended to be all inclusive but instead indicative
of the great variety available.

And here is a list of the most commonly confronted flowers which
have been demonstrated to be toxic. This list is by no means
exhaustive and some flowers that are reported not to be toxic may
cause allergic-type reactions in sensitive individuals. Plants noted
from a variety of sources as toxic include: clematis, hydrangea,
sweet peas, belladona lily, cardinal flowers, azalea, daffodils,
narcissus, larkspurs, buttercups, lily-of-the-valley, fox-glove,
bleeding hearts, fall crocus, pansies, periwinkle, hemlock,
rhododendron, wisteria, Virginia creeper, may apple, oleander,
lupine, hyacinth, four-o’clock, carnation, cotoneaster and cyclamen.