Past and present Plot holders were interviewed for the Growing Culture Oral History project in 2019, with funding from the Heritage Lottery. The recordings will be of great interest to historians of community gardening in the UK. One of the interviewees, Judy Twilley, first came to Whetstone Stray allotments as a young girl, at that time there was no running water on site, and she recalls fetching water from the brook for her grandfather on his plot. She remembers the move from traditional British growing, a time when the allotments were all-male, and while she no longer has a plot on the site herself, she is still fondly remembered by many plot holders, and has kindly returned to judge the cakes in tour recent Annual Shows. Maria Gambarini, one of the plot holders who has been on site for the longest time, also took part and recorded how she brought vegetable varieties from Italy.
Capital Growth Training with Environmental Art Therapist Gary Nash:
Gary introduced the concept of the Celtic Calendar as developed by Ian Siddons-Heginworth as a means into attuning with the seasons and cycles of the year.
The tree the Celts often identified with this time is Hazel. Known as the Celtic tree of knowledge, the Hazel was associated with wisdom, intuition and creativity. Hazel rods were used for divining water and mineral and so it helps attune us to the deep undercurrents within the earth and within ourselves.
‘Behold yourself’ – Nature is a mirror in which we see ourselves reflected. Nature has many ways of refilling us. When we awake to the glory of a beautiful sunrise she fills us with hope…. Nature refills us with herself because Nature is the outward manifestation of our own feminine. Anywhere we go, anything we meet, it is ourselves that we encounter…
Hazel rep-resents the gift of intuition and insight which can make us great mediators in times of struggle. As a source of creativity it can inspire both ourselves and those around us. Hazel can help us to become a catalyst, inspiring change in our own lives and in the world in general…..
Environmental arts therapy seeks to develop a stronger attunement to the feeling self, the feeling body, and supports the movement from the rational thinking self to the feeling self. The masculine and feminine energies are considered in relation to the natural world – through the cycles of the turning year and within our own personal/internal movement and cycle of energy – as we move through the annual cycle of change.
Capital Growth Training with Hedge Herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmed : Herbs as Healing Allies
We welcomed back Rasheeqa, who focussed on the healing plants growing on the Community Plot, mainly in the wildlife and wildflower areas. We made a healing oil for cuts and grazes with comfrey – which we also use on the Community Plot to make a plant feed. We also made teas.
Big Dig 2019
A wet and windy day, so we had our Big Dig in doors. We made paper pots, sowed seeds, potted on hundreds of tomatoes, made a scare-crow and enjoyed a pizza lunch.
Capital Growth Training with the Women’s Environmental Network : “Make Your Own Skin Care’ 2018
oils suffused with herbs from the Community Plot
Capital Growth Urban Harvest 2018
Although it was a wet and windy day, we still found plenty to do: picking ingredients for our celebration meal; weighing our big pumpkin – 21.3 kilos (which won the Capital Growth prize for heaviest pumpkin); and making apple juice.
73rd Annual Show 2018
The independent Judges with Annual Show Sub-Committee Member Gnia
Marion with her amazing 1st prize winning pumpkin
Top prize winners Siobhan and Rik
Rita and Weldon did well too, including Best New Plot
The Community Plot got two trophies and more than £13.00 in prize money! *Seeds for next year*
While Siobhan & Rik, Paul & Ann, Maria and Joanna all shared the Sunflower Trophy!
and Sabina was awarded Best Plot:
Capital Growth Training on Whetstone Stray Allotments, August 2018
Plants as Healing Allies with Rasheeqa Ahmed
Big Dig is the annual day for Community Gardens, and is an initiative of www.capitalgrowth.org to encourage awareness of local community gardens and volunteering oppportunities. The Community Plot is a member of Capital Growth, and is a training partner this year – look out for information about training on site later in the year.
This was our third Big Dig, it was a lovely sunny day, we had a good turn out, and got a lot done in a fun, action packed morning : planting 100 seed potatatoes, making more than 100 paper pots, mixing seed compost (our recipe uses top soil; leaf mould and sand) sowing vegetable seeds and Growwild wild flower seeds – Growwild is a national charity which supplies wildflower seeds, advice and guidance, to community groups.
At the end of a great morning of gardening, we enjoyed a wonderful vegetarian lunch prepared by volunteers, including delicious Turkish food, pickled sloes and wild garlic and nettle pesto.
Apple Day, October 2017
Many thanks to Les Coupland and Sean for a great day. It’s a good thing we now have two apple presses, as there was a good turn out, a variety of apples were pressed and at least 30 litres of apple juice produced.
Community Plot Open Day, October 2017
72nd Annual Show, September 2017
Many thanks to the Annual Show Sub-committee: Angela, Afsaneh, Dianne and Dorothy, for a wonderful day.
There was a really good turn out, and lots of lovely fruit, veg, flowers, jams, chutneys, cakes, photos & pictures … to name just some of the good things on Show …
At the end of the day there was an auction of produce (proceeds to the Community Plot for next year’s seeds)
Thank you to Alice for the Children’s Activities
The Community Plot won Best New Plot and Novice Cup:
Maggie won Best Kept Plot
Please send in your photos of the day so we can upload them! There are more photos in our photo gallery.
Plant Sale 2017
Our Annual Plant Sale was a great success. Most of the plants were provided by the Community Plot Group, who have sowed, pricked out and potted on hundreds of plants this year. We also had donations from Plot Holders, including unusual plants such as medicinal herbs and orchids!
We also enjoyed wonderful cakes, baked and donated by Plot Holders:
Big Dig 2017
This was our second Big Dig event on the Community Plot. So much has changed since last year! This year 21 people took part, bringing together people with learning disabilities, plot holders and children. There were loads of different things to do, learning how to prick out seedlings in the poly tunnel; planting potatoes; planting the pond and pollinator area; sowing Grow Wild flower seeds … all this and more got done …
Dominik’s fantastic potato drills – the first ones he has ever made
And we enjoyed a wonderful BBQ cooked by Neil and Angela.
Putting up the Poly tunnel on the Community Plot
Our biggest ever voluntary challenge, finally achieved in time for the Big Dig, with thanks to all those who took part over several weeks!.
Winter Tree Pruning Workshop March 2017
Les is a Master Pruner, with decades of experience. He shares his skills in Pruning Workshops for Plot Holders. This time he demonstrated on an old, overgrown apple tree on Sean, Allison and Ann’s Plot. Les will hold another Workshop for stone fruits later this year.
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