Abbey Gardens viewed from the Webcam

As luck would have it....

I find myself in London very rarely at the weekend, but lo and behold it's the first 2013 Garden Club session Saturday March 2nd and I can be there! Even more incredibly, I will have my wellies with me for reasons best kept veiled.

I look forward to seeing old friends and new seeds!

City Farmer website

I recently found this N American based website - City Farmer - which has some nice stuff on it, collating urban food news from around the world...

Topics: [Urban farming]

Top of the Pops

We feature in the Ecologist's Top Ten Garden Blogs!

We're on Landshare too

I've been adding some material to Hugh FW's Landshare site  - have a look here

Glasgow Harvest

A word of support for our pals at NVA who are holding 'Glasgow Harvest' on August 28th at the Hidden Gardens at Tramway in Glasgow, part of SAGE (Sow and Grow Everywhere) which are cunning portable growbags distributed throughout Glasgow and the Clyde Valley. Keen to dismiss the myth that chips are the only vegetable popular in the city, the event isn't at all po-faced- there is even a luscious sounding 'Jam Wall' planned!

More details here

or if you do Facebook, here

May the WWTHB? effect start here!

is a new website petitioning for more public space to be used to grow food - it looks worth signing up for certainly, hopefully they know about us too!


Topics: [Public Space]

Karen gives a free talk at the CCA in Glasgow tomorrow!

I've been asked to talk about What Will the Harvest Be? as part of a season called (like it) 'This Land is Your Land' at the CCA gallery in Glasgow tomorrow, Saturday 10th July at 3.30pm

Do come if you can. Details here.

Topics: [talk ]

Something Understood a favourite BBC Radio 4 programme of mine. Here's an interesting edition on the appeal of gardens and gardening, on the iPlayer here

Government follows Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

You may be interested to read that HFW's TV 'Landshare' scheme has apparently inspired our head honchos to follow suit,

"The Government has announced plans to help people grow their own food by working with the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens (FCFCG) on creating a Community Land Bank (HW, 12 March). A small advisory group will meet on 19 April to discuss the plans, which include an agency to bring together landowners and lessees.The Development Trusts Association (DTA), FCFCG and Transition UK will meet, with advice from academic Dr Richard Wiltshire."

Let's hope to hear more, it would be great if they could also consider historic sites like Abbey Gardens as potential food-growing sites, as there are so many in our cities.

We have certainly had a handful of interested WWTHB? gardeners via my post on Landshare, but up North in Cumbria where I live I have had no takers at all for my posting - odd, as anecdotally I meet many interested but in-need-of-help people up here, it seems to be that they either don't know of landshare or don't want to use it......

More to be read here

Sad news

Our condolences go to all at Chiltern Seeds, our wonderful seed sponsors whose founder Douglas Bowden recently passed away. Meeting Douglas (the company is based near me in Cumbria) and experimenting with their vast range of seeds was a turning point in my gardening life, an one that leads directly to my approach to Abbey Gardens.

I have reproduced an article I wrote on Chiltern Seeds in 2004, on our Somewhere blog here.
Here is an extract:

Over a cup of tea in the living room, I compliment him on those idiosyncratic catalogue entries so beloved of CS fans -an example, characteristically witty but not without pathos 'Magnolia campbellii....Such glory takes many years to achieve but, an object lesson, had we sown a packet when we arrived at Bortree Stile in 1980 (seems but yesterday!) we would have something marvellous to look forward to to this spring - we didn't and we don't! " He concedes that he enjoys the sourcing and describing of new items the most of all aspects of the business and cites a heavy US tome 'Cornucopia' from which he derives much advice on edible plants. Cunningly, if a plant is shown to be edible it escapes VAT, so his scholarly curiosity accompanies a shrewd business sense, confirmed by his dedicated lobbying on the subject of US export legislations. Sales are stable, he says, despite TV makeover shows making seed-sowing look like a very distant cousin to the plants shoe-horned into the average suburban plot.

Topics: [seeds]

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