Heybourne Park Community Garden
We want to expand the existing community garden by clearing a designated area alongside it in order to create an urban permaculture community garden which demonstrates, promotes, educates, celebrates and advocates for environmental and economic sustainability through gardening. We also want to build on the existing engagement of volunteers in preparing and maintaining the garden.
We will deliver the following activities:
- Gardening activities for local residents including weeding, watering, sowing, pruning, mulching, transplanting, and propagating.
- Workshops for residents on gardening and conservation e.g. building insect hotels
- Support and advise residents with gardening in their gardens, balconies and windowsills
- Support residents to transform neglected and fly-tipped plots into communal spaces for community gardening (flowers/herbs/food growing).
- Support residents create, plant and tend: food planters, food plants, new flower beds, an edible herb bed, fruit trees, raised beds with seating areas.
- A gardening market where residents can share and exchange plants and seeds
Our Outcomes for those people participating in the project;
-Increased knowledge and awareness of local plants
-Increased awareness and care of the local environment
-Increased number of people engaged in outdoor activities
-Improved health and wellbeing
-Improved community relations and connection among residents
Volunteering Opportunities Outdoors
Our expanded garden will enable more Grahame Park residents to access their natural environment on their door step and connect with each other in a range of shared communal activities. We will offer a range of ways for residents to engage. All local residents wishing to volunteer on the community garden will be able to to join us by becoming members regardless of their experience. Anyone passionate about nature and learning about how to grow their own food or general gardening experience is invited to join our gardening sessions which will enrich their knowledge practically. Groups of volunteers will be given the chance to adopt a plant within the garden to care for through watering, weeding, pruning, and general maintenance throughout its growing cycle.
We will plan and deliver 1 gardening workshop per month and a weekly activity where residents will be invited to attend and encouraged to share knowledge with each other which will build their skills and confidence. Our workshops will be practical and in the garden (weather permitting) providing safe and accessible ways for anyone to learn about where food comes from and gain a basic introduction to environmental issues, conservation, work skills, and business principles.
The site of the garden is in a central location of Grahame Park, and is visible from many flats that surround it. This encourages residents to come out of their homes, visit the garden and participate in practical outdoor activities. This is an opportunity in getting physical exercise through volunteering and developing the skills and training to be confident in gardening. A high proportion of people in Grahame Park live in flats, who do not have access to gardens. Our garden project will run workshops to enable residents in flats learn about seeds and different planting they can do on their window sills and balconies. There are also some properties that have gardens but some residents may not be able to manage their gardens. We will run workshops for residents to give ideas on managing their gardens. This project will provide support and advice on how they can manage their gardens in an environmentally friendly way.
Enhancing & creating Green Spaces
Green spaces have been disappearing from our landscapes for decades: a significant percentage of London's wild green spaces have disappeared since the 1950s as a result of development pressures, conversion of land to other uses and small-scale producers suffering at the hands of the economic challenges of urban gardening. Wildflower meadows that feed the all-important pollinators like bees are also in decline due to an ever decreasing wild green spaces that they used to enjoy.
By expanding the existing Friends of Heybourne Park Community Garden and by creating community plots in Grahame Park’s unused spaces, we want to slow this decline by planting more fruit bushes/trees, traditional wildflowers, herbs as well as protecting our soil and environment for their biodiversity value, history, heritage and beauty. We will create opportunities for different people living on the estate and in the surrounding areas to come together and volunteer with the gardening. This will help to address the Borough's allotment shortfall, promote community production and ownership of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, and help residents, many of whom are on a low income, from a range of ages and backgrounds, rediscover the pleasures of growing and eating organic fruit and vegetables grown close to home. Our community gardens will green our urban environment that is experiencing a lot of physical development, and create habitats for wildlife i.e. insects, bees butterflies, increasing the area and city’s biodiversity. With the rising effects of climate change and drought evident, planting will provide a large yield year after year for decades to come helping to build food security and community resilience. What we will plant will be well suited to the urban environment as they grow on dwarfing root-stocks to adapt into small spaces. Once settled in, they require minimal maintenance.
The plants in our community garden will add oxygen to the air and help reduce air pollution. They also absorb rainwater, reducing the amount of runoff that runs through the streets and carries potential pollutants into the surrounding waterways and canals. This will be a large enhancement to the area as the space is currently untended. By involving residents and children in protecting their environment, our garden will inform and educate local residents so they have a greater understanding and appreciation of nature, plants, insects, seeds and butterflies. For example, showing them that growing the flowers will create a habitat for bees, insects and butterflies will increase understanding of the ecosystem. It will also increase their awareness of the impact they have on the environment. We will encourage recycling by using recycled materials and will reduce waste going to landfills by composting, using natural waste (e.g. weeds) to improve the quality of the soil. This will mean the natural waste isn't just discarded to general waste. This will also encourage a culture for residents and children to adopt this approach at home. Engaging children and young people in helping to manage and preserve the environment will enable them to apply this in their lives and families.
Lets Grow Organic - Windowsill Herb Garden
A large percentage of Barnet residents live in a community with little access to affordable organic fresh fruits and vegetables. The windowsill herb garden project was developed to encourage garden enthusiasts to grow their own organic salad & herb mix with minimal effort and at a fraction of the price of store bought greens.
Residents living in tower blocks also have limited access to garden space but have windowsills that receive ample sunlight that creates perfect climatic conditions to sow & grow almost all year round.This green project for windowsill herb-gardening can introduce your child or yourself to gardening from the comfort of your home.
BEST will provide the seeds / seedlings for the windowsill herb garden together with a comprehensive growing guide to local community who participate in the project.
Home-Grown Organics (HGO)
The youth will play a crucial role in the initial phase by providing (through selling) a regular supply of home grown seedlings to other residents and the community through the project, Home Grown Organic (HGO). Local residents will drive this campaign through friendly competitions, social events and campaigns on organic farming and environmental issues to encourage knowledge exchange and community engagement.
To stimulate this initiative, B.E.S.T will donate a variety of seedlings / seeds, information resources, extension / consultancy services and free training to the local organic farming community and schools who register to become active members of the project. Registration to the project will facilitate and ensure traceability is monitored & maintained throughout the organic growers' life cycle.
Horticultural Value Addition on Land (HVAOL)
Lead farmers / gardeners will be recruited and trained at the demonstration farm / garden through the Horticultural Value Addition On Land Project (HVAOL) - Community Supported Agriculture. After completing the training, the lead gardeners will train their surrounding neighbours at his / her own demonstration farm / garden.
Extension officers & expert volunteers from Barnet Environment Support Team (B.E.S.T) will coordinate and oversee all the training sessions that take place on the lead farmer's demonstration plot.