Posted by: Ealing Transition Community Garden | February 24, 2010

Logistics and local food

This is our very first post! I’m not sure where to begin. This is the story of Ealing Transition Community Garden, a project run by a group of local people hoping to restore community resilience in the borough of Ealing through the learning space of a food growing community garden.

After two months of planning, the ball is now more than just theoretically rolling on the our garden. We had our very first “Dig Meeting” on Tuesday at the Rose and Crown in South Ealing, a pub that we’ve begun inhabiting every few weeks for logistical planning and a pint.

It seems that our reputation has begun to precede us and we took in a good ten newcomers this go round, including seasoned allotmenteers, a garden historian and a garden designer (!). Hopefully this will offset the fact that some of us don’t know what couch grass is. Our group is turning out to have the mix of skill levels that we had wanted at the very beginning — creating a true learning space.

Tuesday’s was probably a much more heartening meeting to attend, as well, given the fact that it didn’t involve debating our nebulous group purpose or pricing pitchforks. (Phew.) As growing season picks up, every weekend will feature at the very least a dig day down the plot, come one, come all.  This Sunday a few of us are meeting to head to a day devoted to building raised beds for less-mobile allotmenters at Ascott Allotments in South Ealing. This should serve as a way for us to learn the skills we need for our imagined raised beds while being readily constructive.

But our very first visualisation day for our plots will be sixth March. We’ll map out our plots and decide where we need to begin our work first. From the fourteenth, we dig every weekend, if not more frequently.

For a pretty good resource on practical projects within the local food movement, you can check out Transition’s guide: Local Food: How to Make It Happen In Your Community.  Transition’s book club is reading it now, and those of us from the community garden group more or less commandeered the last meeting in a fashion that may not have been appreciated by those who didn’t want to hear about our raised beds and budget ad nauseum. As a group, we got a great deal out of the book itself, since we are in the midst of our very own local food project.  We could compare our work with the projects detailed in the book, so we were certainly coming at it from a distinct angle.  It isn’t a conceptual read. Instead, it offers tons of real-life examples of individual communities taking control back over their individual food cultures, from garden-sharing and community gardens to CSA’s and co-ops. It’s pretty inspiring, and it makes our burgeoning garden project seem possible.

Courtney

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