Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Growing Tooting: our third weekend of free local food-growing classes went very well

The third weekend in our practical, sociable and free Growing Tooting workshops went well in Balham, Tooting and Wandsworth. 
A fourth 'waiting list' group starts on the 24th April in Wandsworth. 
Please scroll down this blog to see our earlier posts.

At this stage of our classes, participants have seeds sown or seedlings coming through in their own planting pots and trays at home: here's some spinach on the right. We discussed together just how to get to this stage successfully!










We also looked at dividing clumps of perennial plants such as mint as in this photo. 
Each smaller clump can be planted out to multiply your crops. 
Hands-on superhuman strength sometimes needed if the old clump is dry...


We have a Third Growing Tooting Handout - all welcome to click here for a copy.


One group of participants has a new allotment, so the timing is great to share what they are doing and trying out.
A key message in the classes is to learn from each other, that's certainly more fun.

You'll remember we are encouraging participants to be partly garden-detectives and partly growing-scientists...there's no need to shy away from some helpful technical tips when learning about growing good local food. One 'technical' but practical topic in the third handout is 'crop rotation' - swapping around what you grow where, year by year.

In our Tooting Community Garden plot, we do 'rotate' what is planted in the beds every year exactly as in the handout. We keep a sketch map of what we are growing, so we can remember what's planted, and to help plan for next year.


Come and visit us sometime at the Community Garden: all welcome to pop in and chat about growing or help out. We're open every Sunday from 11:00-1:00 at 5 North Drive, SW16 1RN. 
Latest info on Facebook: Tooting Community Garden.
Good Gardening!  - Charles

Sunday, 10 April 2016

You're invited to the Hubs & Spokes Cafe, Tue 19 April, 7pm

Join us in planning a wheeled parade and ride through Tooting!

Over the last few months, Transition Town Tooting have been experimenting with the idea of a wheeled parade and some bike rides through Tooting - a chance to celebrate the possibilities of safe, open roads for everyone where clean air and community conversations meet.

In early July, we will be running Tour de Tooting!

On Tuesday, 19th April at 7pm, we'll be holding an open meeting at the pop up Hubs & Spokes Cafe to bring everyone "up to speed" with plans so far. If you'd like to find out more about how to get involved and generally get to grips with all the exciting possibilities of this new Tooting Wheeled Venture, come along!

Hubs & Spokes Cafe
Tuesday, 19th April at 7pm
Mushkil Aasaan, 222 Upper Tooting Road

We'll be making more announcements about the Tour de Tooting very soon, so if you can't make the meeting, keep an eye on the blog. There will be pop ups happening in the weeks leading up to the main event, so keep an eye on the blog or search #tourdetooting!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Growing Tooting: the second weekend, with three workshops plus an allotment visit

All went well in the second weekend of our free workshops devoted to growing our own good local food - one class each in Balham, Tooting and Wandsworth. (Details of the Growing Tooting programme here).

What did we do last weekend? 

We compared everyone's window-sill grown pea plants, 2 weeks after sowing.

Different conditions (amount of light and watering; depth of planting) produced different growth.

Overall there were crops to be eaten (or planted out) even without having a garden!




Plus: We looked at the components that make up healthy soil

We discussed what 'food' plants need to feed their leaves, roots and flowers

We looked at the herbs we like, what conditions they need...and shared recipes

We now have Handout Number Two - everyone is welcome to click here for a copy


A group also visited two participants' breezy allotment - their very first opportunity to garden outdoors.
As a team, we tried to be observant detectives as well as scientist-gardeners: exploring what is already growing there (celery, blackcurrants, strawberries); proposing what to do first (make a plan, prepare beds, maybe cover future beds with weed-suppressing mulch or sheeting and dig later on); and shared visions of the harvest.

Thanks to all for your enthusiasm and sharing ideas and questions, however new to gardening you are.

This Sunday April 10th all local gardeners are invited to drop in at the Tooting Community Garden to say hello, have a cup of tea made with the volcano kettle, and share some seeds if you have spare.
We'll be open from 11:00 to 1:00, at 5 North Drive SW16 1RN, tucked behind the big house.