Tag Archives: Community Food Garden

Veg on the Edge is expanding… Green fingers needed!

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Want to grow your own organic veg? Get your wellies muddy? Meet your neighbours and have a laugh? If so, Veg on the Edge needs you!

We are expanding at both our current sites: the Sunday School Garden in Caroline Street car park, and Platform 1 at Saltaire Rail Station. We’re adding more raised beds to the ones we’ve already established, thanks to the support of Shipley College and Sustainable Saltaire.

We’re also developing two brand new sites: one on upper Caroline Street overlooking the railway line, and another outside the Jonathan Silver Building at Shipley College. There’ll be plenty of new growing space, so there’s even more opportunity to get involved.

We’re planning all sorts of wonderful crops, from edible flowers to Peruvian purple potatoes and now’s the time to get involved and help us sow!

From Wednesday 30 March we’ll be reinstating our weekly Wednesday evening session from 6pm to 7pm at the Sunday School Garden. For those of you that can’t make a weekday, we also meet here on the first Sunday of the month throughout the year from 11am to 12pm. You don’t need to make any special commitment … just come along as and when you want. Everyone is welcome, whatever your age or ability.

In addition, we’d love members to join our veg task force to help plan our activities and raise funds. If you’d like to be involved, come along to one of our friendly fortnightly meetings. Our next get together will be on Thursday 24 March at 7pm, upstairs at Fanny’s Ale House. Whether you want to get involved with planning and planting, or simply meet a few new people and chat about vegetables over a pint, you are very welcome to come along and join in.

Drop us a line at hello@vegontheedge.org if you’d like to come along or find out more.

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New growing site and change to meeting times

The seasons are changing and there’s a crispness in the air! It’s time to hunker down and prepare for winter. But things aren’t  going too quiet at Veg on the Edge.

We’re very excited to announce a sister site to the Sunday School Garden. Located at Saltaire railway station, the new site will be called Veg on the Edge at Platform 1, in association with Shipley College. We’ll be growing a range of edible plants for the raised bed just by the entrance to the platform. We’d love you to come along and join in.

We’ve also got a new winter timetable. Now the nights have drawn in, we’ve ended our Wednesday evening gardening sessions. However there’s still lots to do during winter, so we’ll continue to meet on the first Sunday of every month from 11am to 12pm. We’ll be tidying up the beds and gradually rotating the contents. We’ve already started planting out winter crops like kale, chard and rocket, and there’s more to go in. We’ll also be collecting any seeds for next year.

Do come along on:
Sunday 1 November
Sunday 6 December
Sunday 3 January

Sunday 7 February

Finally, we’re organising a tasty little programme of walks, talks and making activities, so we can get together during the cold months. We’ll share the details on the blog as soon as we know more or sign up to our newsletter to get an update by email.

Phew. No chance of hibernating!

Great Feedback at Saltaire Festival Open Gardens

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We had a wonderful weekend at the Saltaire Festival as part of the Open Gardens trail. 
It was lovely to meet so many people interested in the Sunday School Garden in Caroline Street car park. Thanks to everyone who generously donated to our home-made cake stall or filled in a survey. It was lovely to get feedback on what we’ve been doing, what people would like to see, and how they might get involved.
Here’s a flavour of the comments we received:
“Keep up the good work!”
“Thank you for improving this location, it’s fab!”
“Brilliant idea”
“We really enjoy walking past the garden and talking to our children about the vegetables”

“Big respect for what you’re doing!”

Everyone we met agreed that they’d like to see more community growing spaces in Saltaire. We’re currently well on the way to developing projects for further sites, so that more of us can get involved and help make our neighbourhood even better. We’ll post more updates on this soon as we can.

We also heard that it’s difficult for some people to escape work in time for our regular Wednesday 6pm session. Starting in November, we’ll be adding an extra session on the first Sunday of the month at 11am, so that more folks can join us. Just turn up and muck in. The perfect way to work up an appetite for your Sunday roast!

Say hello at Saltaire Open Gardens 2015

We’re delighted to be taking part in this year’s Saltaire Open Gardens, during the opening weekend of Saltaire Festival 2015

We’ll be on site at the Sunday School Community Food Garden at the Caroline Street car park from 12.00pm to 4.30pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September. Do drop by to say hello and take a look at what we’ve been growing this year. We’re really keen to get feedback about the garden from people living in the area and hear your views on local community growing. There’ll also be some tasty treats available for anyone who’d like to make a donation to the project!

To read more about the opening weekend of Saltaire Festival you can download this year’s trail leaflet here featuring the garden and sculpture trail as well as the Makers’ Fair and pop up houses: Saltaire Festival 2015 Opening Weekend

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What’s happening: Summer 2014

Last October when we held our Information Sharing Day, we had pictured ourselves hard at work this summer in our community food garden, planting, harvesting and enjoying the fruits of our labours.

However, as you will be aware this is not the case. In previous newsletters we outlined our plans to bid to WREN for funds to develop the land. We require this funding because we need significant infrastructure to cap the site before we can safely work the land, due to the soil’s poor quality and contaminaion. To grant funding WREN require a minimum 7-year lease from Bradford Council.

Unfortunately after much negotiation, Bradford Council has declined to grant this, offering at most a 2-year lease. Their main reason for this is the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Fire Station. At some time in the future the Fire Station may move elsewhere, and the land might be sold for development. The land next to the Fire Station – our proposed site – could be part and parcel of any deal.

Proposed site of Veg on the Edge community food garden, to the rear of the Fire Station on Saltaire Road

Proposed site of Veg on the Edge community food garden, to the rear of the Fire Station on Saltaire Road

Obviously, this is very frustrating. We are totally committed to this project and have worked hard to make it a reality, already overcoming a number of hurdles. So to be stalled by something that may or may not happen some time in the future is very disappointing.

But we are not giving up. We believe Veg on the Edge is a great project and we know there is still a lot of local support to see it realised. Sarah, our Chair, recently met with
Councillor Andrew Thornton (Executive Member BMDC, responsible for Environment, Sport and Sustainability) on site to explain our position. Cllr Thornton has now decided to wait until the position on the Fire Station becomes clearer before reconsidering the leasing options. There is no timescale to this so we shall have to wait and see.

In the meantime our green fingers are itchy to get into the soil, so we are starting to look for alternative sites, which might be suited to an adapted or interim version of our design. Our first points of contact will be social housing provider Incommunities, and Saltaire World Heritage Site.

If you have any suggestions for other stakeholders that we might contact, or you’ve noticed some unloved wasteground nearby that could be transformed into a community food garden, we would love to hear from you.

We’re still looking for enthusiastic people to join our regular meetings to help make our vision happen – if that sounds like you, please do drop us a line.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we’ll be back in touch with more updates in the autumn.

Great response at our Information Sharing Day

We were truly blessed by glorious autumnal sunshine at our Information Sharing Day on Sunday 6 October. VotE members gathered together to welcome other local residents at the site and share our plans so far.

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We were really pleased so many people came along to see us and there was non stop discussion about the possibilities for the site.

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All group members got stuck in, taking visitors on tours of the site and showing them where the different proposed features would be located. Special thanks also to Adele from BCEP who was on hand all day to support with the event and to help to explain the plans.

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You hopefully spotted our illustrated signs which gave a flavour of what you might discover where in the space.

Donations refreshments

We came well prepared for non stop chatter, and VotE members prepared plenty of refreshments to keep everyone energised. This included some lovely bramble buns made using wild produce from the site. Thanks to the kind people who gave donations which went straight into the pot to help develop the site.

Liz Knitting

Crafty VotE’r Liz also found time to put the final finishing touches to our very own Veg on the Edge bunting. This was complemented wonderfully by drawings from our younger visitors depicting what they would like to see on the site. Carrots in particular being popular!

Kids feedback

It was so useful to hear lots of feedback and thank you to everyone who completed a questionnaire. These will be very helpful when planning next steps. If you’ve not had chance to tell us what you think yet, take a look at the initial designs for the site and follow the link to complete our questionnaire online.

Questionnaire

All in all we had a fantastic day and feel very excited about the next stage of the project. If you left your details with us we will be in touch soon to let you know how you can help make the vision for a community food garden become a reality.

Thank you from Team Veg on the Edge!

Group garden