Last Saturday a crack team of 15 German permaculturalists were visiting London and visiting as many key permaculture sites around London that weekend. After meeting and having a shady picnic on the Heath we gave them a tour of our three growing sites, the Royal Free Hospital garden, the Premier Inn growing plot and the Fruitery. It was a great afternoon and encouraging to share the work we have put into those sites with an interested group.

The St Peter’s summer fete was on the 14th July and we put The Fruitery garden on show, with a great little leaflet explaining some of the key features of the space designed by Ali. Although the fete was small there was a regular flow of people coming through, and we had some example willow pencil making and herb pots from Debbie. It was also a good opportunity to give away some salad crops that were ripe for the picking!

Claire and Hedvig organized a great exploration session for the Permaculture Diploma today at Grow Mayow, a fantastic community garden project in Sydenham. The format included:

  • A spatial mapping exercise.
  • Small group discussions about the diploma and how it was going.
  • Questions reviewed and answered.
  • A short “4 questions” session.

Some things I learnt:

  • Check the Association website for the form that describes the summary format for a write-up.
  • Be explicit about methods used to do design.
  • The presentation is about 40 minutes and would typically review 3 projects.
  • Project yields could include experience and sharing with others.
  • Teaching an intro course requires having done a PDC and also to have PETALS.

On Saturday Nigel created the willow arch we’d been discussing for a while to form the first part of the end of Fruitery space. Next we need to clear the rest of the compost and wood chip to allow the whole area to be smartened up.

Also Ali and Eli did great work on laying and levelling more paving stones to create a larger paved area. This created a new large mound of soil moved from where the paving was, so it naturally seemed a logical choice to build a herb spiral! Some scavenging collected enough sizable logs to create two circles around the base and halfway, with a final small ring of rocks.

Debbie connected with a local arborist who was happy to deliver for free a few tonnes of woodchip onto the street. So one hour on Saturday (me) and Sunday morning (a team of us) shifted it into the site. Plenty more than we need but it can be used by other projects and local residents (we hope!).

Also more paving stones were collected and some digging done to level the ground for them.

Last Saturday a new set of plug plants was planted:

  • Hops
  • Musk mallow
  • White clover
  • Ramsons
  • Catmint
  • Sorrel

Work was started on paving a larger area at the far end of the site to create more flexible space for workshops and other events.

Three of the main beds were mulched with the compost that was delivered from NLWA, to retain more moisture and suppress weeds.

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