The practical part of the project is over, we’ve harvested all of our stories and reflections, and we are currently writing up our project reports, including a community leaflet to share the stories, recipes and reflections on food growing gathered through the project.
Thank you to everyone that came to the Food Growing Festival to share your stories about growing food. Poet Michelle Scally Clarke spent the afternoon talking to people and gathering ideas for this poem which captures the spirit of the stories we heard:
The Cycle of Life
I grow food for colours
The cycle of life
When one plant dies a different food arrives
As I sow and seed, and I’m on my knees
My heritage stands with pride
Dig for victory
A pole of land
Given to every woman and man
From ground to hand
grew celery and cucumber
For Christmas dinner
He also kept chickens
And one year we ate Sarah
Being with my step father
As a kid, I have a memory
Sitting under the alleys arches of runner beans
Always having something tasty to eat
Blackberries and elderberry wine
Coriander ,spinach, lettuce, radish, cress , chives
It enriches my soul, body and mind
And put me in touch with mother nature
We grow, rhubarb, peas, strawberry’s and leeks
But the leeks flowered
So we left them for the bees
As their treat
I grow food to show my children
That nature is perfect in it’s different shapes and sizes
That perfect does not come from the supermarket
I draw the food, the whole cycle
Of how we are living and for a source of imagery
I enjoy being out in the garden,
The cathedral of leaves, it’s my place of peace
I eat it, share it, give it away
It looks good but taste’s better
I like singing to my plants
A bit of a show-tune
They love a bit of country or dolly Parton
The joy of growing, soil and weather
The cycle of life
When one plant dies another food thrives.
Michelle Scally Clarke
A celebration of growing your own food
Saturday 28 Sept 2013 2 – 5pm
At Harehills Lane Baptist Church, 13 Hilton Place, Leeds LS8 4HF
Free food Craft workshops Poetry Family Activities Free plants and seeds
All food growers welcome!
This event is supported by the GEM research project in partnership with Back to Front and Space2 and we are collecting stories about what growing food means to people.
To help with our planning please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
For info on GEM visit their website
For more info on Back to Front click here
Lots of us are growing plants in small spaces, and it can be a challenge to find things to grow our plants in, but this crafty idea from our Space2 facilitators is a great way to use up waste plastic bottles and make use of some of our wall space! The only thing is, it needs a lot of watering as there is quite a small amount of soil in there. However, with a bit of clever positioning you can line up a couple of these above each other, and have other pots underneath, so that when you water them the water that runs through isn’t wasted. It’s also a good idea to put the drainage holes at the sides rather than underneath, so a little bit of water can collect in the bottom of the bottle to keep the soil damp. It’s all about experimenting though – give it a go!
We have found two fantastic groups to work with, and are starting our food growing workshops!
We are working with a group of residents in Harehills, and a Refugee Forum group at a community centre in Lincoln Green.
The seeds are in, and starting to sprout, let’s hope for good weather this summer so we get a bumper crop.
GEM is a research project about the stories that go with our food. We are asking people to share different perspectives on growing, cooking, swapping and eating vegetables and herbs. As a way of encouraging people to think about what different plants mean in their lives, we are working with local growing and recycling projects to set up plant growing and food sharing events during spring, summer and autumn 2013.
What can you grow at home that has particular social, religious or spiritual meaning for you (as well as being tasty!)? Researchers working at Back to Front workshops are asking people to record their experiences of growing food in photos and workbooks. Then, at a festival of food in October, we will bring together households who have participated and more for food, art, storytelling and a celebration of what food means to us.