May Update – Shooting up in the grassroots garden

Co-design and drawing workshop for Ninewells Community Garden - Dundee Urban Orchard, May 2016 -1Greetings everyone and thank you for all your wonderful pledges! We are now almost half way funded.

May has been a month of abundance here in the grassroots garden: fruit trees have been bursting into blossom in community orchards and green leaves spiralling up in community gardens and urban farms; seedlings have been swapped in halls and allotments and veg boxes everywhere suddenly just got a lot more interesting. The hungry gap is over!

Meanwhile over 60 sections in the Directory have now been mapped out (here is a link to our taster alphabet if you haven’t yet seen it). Copy has been winging its way across the UK from the citywide reach of the Bristol Pound to the tiny tardis space of Edinburgh Tool Library, from national networks, such as Project Dirt, The Big Lunch and Food Assembly to the very local and specific. This video is from Row the Erne, a community group that creates free outdoor community spaces on the water…by building boats and rowing them on the River Erne in Northern Ireland.

We set out to build a 33ft bronze age curach and ended up creating a magical outdoor space for all ages and abilities.

‘The key to the magic is we always have fun and that is what gets people talking and gets them to come back for more. We realised that Row the Erne is not about boats, but about people and empowering them. Every time we row we are surprised at what it means to people and how much fun we have. Laughter is often a lesser considered ‘need’ in community yet it is at its essence and is critical to sustaining a community (Olivia Cosgrove, founder).

Mark and I have been getting in touch with over 200 groups and projects this spring, but there is always room for more. If you know of folk who might be interested in contributing and/or backing our community-supported, all connecting compendium, do let them know. Many thanks!

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Images: (below) Chagford CSA in Devon working the land; (above) Co-design workshop at one of the Dundee Urban Orchards – Ninewells Community Garden –  to create mosaic signage for the garden.

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