Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change (FOR TWELVE YEARS!)

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Lockdown Love, Episode 1 - FOOD!

Lockdown has been in place here in the UK since the middle of March and had a huge affect on our activities. We had to improvise quick, like everyone, and adapt to a rapidly changing context of how we live, where we live. 

Over the early weeks, our growing core group found our niches and put what energy we each had into developing outward facing projects to help our community, both near and far, using networks nurtured with love for over 10 years. 

Over the next few days, we'll be posting what's live and how you can get involved. We'll be sharing projects about public space and building community with more posts cooking up.

Never know, Transition Town Tooting maybe fertile ground for collaboration with you!

This episode is all about food and offers four projects: Vegetanuary! - an online group focused on celebrating and sharing vegetarian and vegan cooking; Foodival2020 begins! A callout to share food growing stories and a date for the diary as we stretch to imagine our annual food festival in September; Tooting Community Garden has been sharing the wonders of nature in Spring and looks to future projects and our Neighbourhood Seed Swap in direct response to a huge spike in interest in growing your own. Do read on...


Saturday, 16 May 2020

Tooting Community Garden: The 6 rotational beds this May/June

Tooting Community Garden 

Have a read of our plans for the 6 rotational beds this May/June. Join in and have a go at propagating some basil, or making some homemade fertiliser for your own plants or to bring to the garden when we re-open. 

PLANT OF THE MONTH: The Roveja Bean 

A very ancient variety of peas originating in the Middle east, today cultivated in only in a few Appenine regions in Italy. Thanks also to its relatively problem-free cultivation this variety has been rediscovered in recent years and grows well in the UK. 

The plants are semi-dwarf - you can let them sprawl, but we'd suggest supporting them with pea sticks or low netting for the best crop. They are absolutely beautiful, with bi-coloured pink-purple flowers fading to pale pink/white as they age. They're allowed to mature and dried, then used for delicious winter soups and stews.

We sourced this seed from the Real Seeds company in Wales and look forward to harvesting the beans and also saving the seeds for next year! We sowed them indoors and planted them out in April. 

GROWING OPPORTUNITIES THIS MAY/JUNE 
  • Companions to bring to our plants 
  • Swiss Chard for our runner beans 
  • Nasturtiums for our runner beans 
  • Coriander for our potatoes 
  • Sunflowers for our squash 
  • Palm kale for our oak leaf lettuce 
  • Nigella for our garlic and onions 
  • Rocket for our garlic and onions 
  • Summer savoy for our garlic and onions 
  • Basil for our tomato plants 

New spaces created this June 
  • Parsnips seeds once the broad beans are harvested 
  • Cucamelons seedlings once the Japanese onions are harvested 
  • Squash plants once the green manure has been dug in and 3 weeks have past 
  • Carrots and turnip seeds once the garlic is harvested 
  • Tomato seedlings once the garlic and onions are harvested 

GUIDES TO HELP US ALONG THE WAY 

Green manure 

Benefits and how and when to dig over https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/green-manures 

How to propagate basil 
Basil from a cutting
Basil from a cutting: https://zerowastechef.com/2017/08/15/how-to-grow-basil-from-cuttings/ 

Basil from a seed: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/herbs/basil 

Basil by dividing a mature plant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAvzV-hNxdI 


Homemade fertilisers for our tomato and squash plants 
Comfrey, nettles, weeds and manure https://www.permaculture.co.uk/readers-solutions/how-make-organic-liquid-fertiliser 

Nettle tea: https://www.soils-permaculture-lebanon.com/our-blog-articles-diy/nettle-tea-brew-your-own-liquid-natural-fertilizer 

WATERING
At the garden we have only as much water as the sky gives us. To limit our water use we are watering only: 
Seeds that haven’t yet germinated; and 
Seedlings less than 3 weeks old 

We are using leaf mulch and cover crops on our over plants to reduce evaporation and increase water retention.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Sharing Seeds 2020

Sharing Seeds is a new project for TTT, funded by the Wandsworth Grant Fund, launched in March and operating, guerrilla style during the lockdown. We aim to smarten up our streetscape by focussing on the fantastic trees of Tooting, using creative activities and planting around tree bases. 

Now, more than ever, outdoor time is scarce, and with community gardens like ours forced to close during lockdown, there are fewer places that those who don’t have their own green space at home can connect with nature in their local area. 
Many Tooting street-tree bases currently bare but we intend to change that.  You can take part by planting in them, helping improve the soil and encouraging pollinators.

Planting street tree bases means you, the public, get to form a relationship with a particular tree, get involved in improving how your local streets look, sound and smell, and get to enjoy the experience of growing and seeing new plants develop through the year.

For more details on how to get involved head over to the Sharing Seeds blog pages or follow Sharing Seeds on Instagram.