|The team wave goodbye!|
To mark this momentous occasion the SEEDS trust and Radio Berkshire joined forces with CSV to celebrate “Make a Difference Day”.
|Allison and Vic|
The volunteers worked incredibly hard and really have made a difference to our plot. The paths have been reinstated, as the bark was trodden down over the course of the last few months, and Plotting HQ (our shed!) has been painted to protect it from the weather.
Shehnoor from Slough Refugee Support has drawn a mural on the inner shed door which was painted in by the volunteers. It features everything to represent the summer, from those triphid-like nasturtiums, watering cans and the “king-size” marrows to Diana’s scarecrow and our recycled iron bath wildlife pond.
The rain held off during the day, giving Christine, Trish and Simon the time to put the first coat of paint on the shed. They were later helped out by Fiona Mactaggart, Member of Parliament for Slough. She donned the CSV tabard and slapped the paint on with a big smile on her face.
The mural was a little more intricate and needed a steady hand. This team was headed up by Muserrat and Sophie, kindly helped out by Colin Evans (!). Ashok helped me to paint in some rather delicious looking tomatoes. Having only a limited selection of paints there was certainly a lot of experimentation with colour mixing. My last experience with this was way back in junior school so I had to reach into the depths of my childhood memories to work out that yellow and blue made green!
The other half of the team concentrated all of their energies into shovelling and barrowing bark up and down the plot. 11 year old John was bark monitor making sure the Radio Berkshire team were putting the bark in the right place. We soon used up the weed suppressing membrane and chippings, leaving the plot very orderly and neat. Soon our Plotters will be able to come gardening in their bedroom slippers!
After all the hard work it was definitely time for a tea break. Muserrat had made some delicious nibbles and Diana brought her camper van around to supply the thirsty workers with hot tea.
The day was a tremendous success and the Plotters are very pleased with the spruced up plot ready for spring 2007. The whole project has been wonderful giving the Plotters new skills and adventures. They are so pleased with the project they don’t want it to end, so they are in the process of formalising to become an organised group in their own right to then take on the running of the project for themselves.
I will be helping out the “Chalvey Plotters” with their planning and variety selections as well as introducing them to different methods and techniques. I am also helping them to find funds to purchase a Perspex greenhouse to raise their own seedlings and possibly pay the rent on another plot for the many new members...?
Every week someone new arrives who would like to get involved and our regular Plotters all want to increase their plot space. It’s fantastic! “The Plot” has turned out to be an even bigger and better project than I could have imagined when I sat with Radio Berkshire and drew out a basic sketch of the project way back in March. The Plot is set to continue for many more seasons to come and many more people will get to sample the delights of community food gardening.
|Colin Evans helps out|
Well, that’s it from me for now, other than saying on the behalf of the newly formed group “The Chalvey Plotters” thank you to BBC Radio Berkshire for making this project so entertaining and successful. We do hope you will come back to visit – you know you will always go home with a few fresh home grown veggies from some generous plotter!
Allison Wragg is the Community Food Garden Worker for the SEEDS Trust (funded through SHAPE by the Big Lottery Fund).