Thursday, 27 August 2009

A Year at the Lost Plot (Sept 2008 to Aug 2009)

We've not updated the blog for a while, but for those of you who want to know what we've been up to, here is a summary of the past year down at the Lost Plot:

Jun-Aug 2009
- 100 Orange Rockcorp volunteers earned themselves a ticket to a rock
concert by volunteering with AfSL at the Lost Plot. During the four
hours shift in early July the young people got stuck in to:
- clearing the Southern Allotment Society community plot for future
use by other local groups
- building and painting new composts and raised beds for the lost plot
- painting our sheds
- perparing the beds for the polytunnel to go up
- weeding and clearing of new beds

Mar-May 2009
- As well as regular weekly workdays, activities and sessions for 15
members of the local community included an afternoon's workshop on
Organic Soil delivered by Martrin Oldham, chair of Association of
Manchester Allotment Societies.
- A new partnership with AfSL and the Field Studies Council also saw a
number of sessions delivered in partnership with Chorlton High
School's eco-team, where 15 young people came down and got their hands
dirty with sessions that taught them about gardening design,
composting and weeding - plus using recycled paints they had gathered
at school through a 'paint amnesty' to start a mural on the old
fencing at the plot.

Dec-Feb 2009
- The Lost Plot project becomes a lead partner in Manchester City
Council's Food Futures projects - Manchester Allotments Promoting
Sustainability (MAPS). This aims to create a city-wide educational
resource to promote sustainability through allotments around
Manchester and increase community involvement + engage with different
demographics regarding food growing.
- We purchased a mobile classroom/bell tent to use as a resource for
workshops, training and education. This resource will be used by the
Lost Plot and to hire out to organisations or individuals interested
in promoting sustainability and food growing. Our inaugural workshop
was 'An Introduction to Permaculture' run by local permaculturist
Julia Frankel and attended by 20 local community members all
interested in developing new ways of implementing natural and organic
growing systems in their own gardens and allotments.

Sept-Nov 2008
- Weekly work sessions for Lost Plot volunteers saw us expanding our
site by 30% as we opened up new beds for the coming spring's planting
season. This involved digging out weeds and laying temporary paths, as
well as removing lots of the junk that had gathered there.
- Enrichment Workshops for young refugees and asylum seekers. A group
of 16-19 year olds attended the plot once per week as part of their
enrichment programme at City College. During their three month
involvement they got their hands dirty with the following activities:
- Herb Spiral maintenance and Mint harvesting
- Digging paths & bed edging
- Managing the compost
- Winter planting - garlic, onion & broad beans
- Pond maintenance
- Cob oven cookery

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