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Manchester Drive Forest Garden news- Allotment open day...

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  • Graham Burnett
    Hi- today was the Manchester Drive Allotment Society s open day, and Ron Bates and I were invited to both sit on the Gardener s question time panel, along
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 7, 2002
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      Hi- today was the Manchester Drive Allotment Society's open day, and Ron
      Bates and I were invited to both sit on the 'Gardener's question time'
      panel, along with 3 other more 'mainstream' 'gardening experts' (tho I don't
      think Ron & I would put ourselves forwards as 'experts' by any means...) to
      give the alternative/permacultural angle...

      We were also invited to give an 'alternative tour' of the site, as a
      counterpoint to the 'other' tour which was more about pointing out the prize
      winning plots, best kept trimmed edges, etc, so had an opportunity to show
      off our respective forest garden plots to, if not a huge crowd, at least an
      appreciative handful of folks who seemed to find what we had to say of great
      interest and were able to realise that what might appear to be chaotic and
      unkept is actually orderly, planned and productive.

      Highpoint of the day was when Ron found a slow worm in his compost bin,
      which delighted the children present. Some other folk seemed impressed by
      the relaxed and calm attitude of forest gardening, though we were careful to
      stress that there is nothing intrinsicly WRONG with neatness and (aesthetic)
      order- allotment sites should be open to a diversity of approaches (but
      chemical gardening should still be discouraged...)

      We were both able to explian that our plots are vegan organic in their
      management as well...

      We also looked at janet hammond's 'conventional' organic plot as well, she
      sits on Leigh Town Council, the Manchester Drive Allotments Committee (as
      well as Southend's Local Agenda 21 forum) and is very supportive of what Ron
      and I are trying to achieve, which is very heartening.

      As i said not a huge amount of folk turned out for the tour, but those that
      did were inspired, and I think encouraged by seeing that there are other
      ways of allotemnt management than growing neat rows of leeks and cabbages...

      Local Leigh On Sea artist and allotmenteer Howard Robinson
      http://www.leigharttrail.co.uk/Robinson,%20Howard.htm asked permission to do
      some artwork, either drawings or paintings of the forest gardens, we were
      only too pleased to say yes- watch this space...

      And I sold 2 books- all in all a sucessful day :-)

      Cheers Graham
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