You may have seen Sustainable Wallingford’s new Incredible Edible projects where, with help from volunteers such as yourself, we have cleared unloved patches of land and grown edible plants. Near here, there are already plots outside the Cornerstone in Didcot, in Abbey Gardens in Abingdon, and in Florence Park in Oxford, with herbs, vegetables, and signs saying “Pick me when I’m ready”.
After much digging and carpentry, we have planted up the approach to Wallingford Library and Community Support Centre and the area outside Benson Library, in cooperation with the Friends of Benson Library and a lot of help from Benson School. South Oxfordshire District Council and Friends of Benson Library have generously funded purchases of plants and materials at Wallingford and Benson respectively.
We were amazed how positive everyone has been, and so grateful to the hardy and tenacious volunteers who joined us in clearing, both being done in record time! The local schools have helped as the serious growing started.
As much as possible is recycled. We used free local compost from the Agrivert recycling centre and wood from Oxford Wood Recycling, and planted edibles for everyone to share- salads, fruit, beans, courgettes, spuds, beetroot and herbs, with some welcome contributions and swaps of plants.
We are harvesting out first produce year’s produce, and in future we hope to organise seasonal events such as seed swaps, harvest share-outs, and community suppers.
The aim is not just to grow edible plants for people to help themselves to as they pass by; plants such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, various herbs, carrots, spring onions, leafy greens, and BEANS. Just as important is to to raise interest in growing food and where it comes from, to provide outdoor gentle exercise in a sociable setting and of course to enhance the Libraries.
If you have ideas for edible plants you would like to see grown and that don’t need too much ongoing care, do get in touch or share your ideas in the Libraries.We are learning as we go, and would love you to lend a hand
Hopefully when you visit the Libraries this autumn, you will notice when things are ripe or ready to pick and take a few, leaving some for other people to enjoy of course. Do please also give us a hand with a little light weeding or watering, as “If you eat, you’re in”. Look out for news of regular sessions to weed and chat.