#DoncasterIsGreat for Upcycled Urban Farming

Bentley Urban Farm 1

PermaFuture are currently in the process of converting a horticultural training centre which has been mothballed for the last four years into and upcycled urban farm.

Over the last couple of weeks we – with help from some wonderful kids doing National Citizen Service who cleared out the poly-tunnel and greenhouse for us –  we have been clearing the site to prepare for growing a wide range of market garden crops. We made some surprising discoveries…

Chive Lawn

…like a beautiful smelling lawn of chive and oregano which had self-set from a former herb garden…


…and a number of different cooking and eating apple trees. Some areas hadn’t seen the light of day in quite a while. Like the drainage system which was full of newly created soil (which we’re using for one of our large planters) and wonderfully developed root systems…


…we’ve also unearthed a rather wonderful, wheelchair friendly, brick path…

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So hopefully it won’t be too long before we have the site open to the public.

Over the next few months we’ll be using reclaimed materials (from a growing medium made from recycled carpets to a hydroponic system made from junk) to build an upcycled, permaculture based, urban farm capable of providing  affordable fresh food and creating some much needed jobs in one of the poorest areas of the UK.

We’ll keep you posted as to how we get on🙂


#DoncasterIsGreat for the Day Of The Dead | Rooted and @RightUpRStreet in Hexthorpe


The Rooted team had a great time in Hexthorpe Park this weekend, where we were taking part in Right Up Our Street‘s DAY OF THE DEAD event.



We set up the wonderful PixieWorks Yurt and decorated it with skulls made from reclaimed fabric (a massive thank you to everyone who helped to make these… especially Rachel who didn’t sleep for a week with all that sowing!).



Inside the Yurt we had lantern-making and face painting…



Outside Joie Carruthers created a shrine which included some of our planters…



…which local Shaman, Suzanne Wass, blessed with her drumming…


There was drumming too from the wonderful Luther King…




Luther and his friends also played live music for the crowds ahead of the night-time, lantern-lit procession to The Dell. More about this (and more photos…) will follow in a future post🙂



Rooted: Banner Making & Planting Workshop

Snail Girl

We might be gardeners, but we still love snails😉

We had a fun day today at Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery

In preparation for the Rooted ‘Harvest Moon Festival’ later in the year we planted up some more planters…

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Rooted 1

Including Thomas’s ‘Tea Pot’…


…Jessic’a ‘Wellie’…


…and a whole host of other fun things…

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As well as getting our hands dirty planting…

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…we also started to stitch the Rooted banner…

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We used fabric & buttons…

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…and everyone got stuck in…

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…except John, who got stuck making flat-pack furniture…

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…which will become a planter during a future workshop.

It wasn’t long before the banner took shape…

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But if you want to see the finished article you’ll have to pop down and see us at Pride on Saturday in Sir Nigel Gresley Square…

rooted august 20th - small

We won’t be hard to miss as we’ll be the ones with a big green yurt!

Until then keep planting!..

Rooted 20

Rooted – August

rooted august 20th - small

Dear Doncasterians and Doncolites,

We are very proud to be working on a new visual arts and growing project called “Rooted”.

We’re working alongside Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery to create an edible garden (mainly from reclaimed upcycled materials) know as ‘The Junkle’.

We’ve already had donations of junk from local businesses. If you have anything laying around waiting to go to landfill, please let us know. We’ll save your waste and turn it into glorious functional planters.
A big thank you to Richard (or ‘Mr Papacassi’) of Papacass’s Kitchen for saving over 20 catering cans from the landfill.

We are working hard to secure permission to expand the project so that we can take over the patch of land between The Point and the Musuem know Arts Park (although, so far, not much ‘art’ happens there – we hope to change this!). We believe Doncasterians need more green spaces which they can dream, think, create, learn. play and share ideas in.

We’re also designing a pop-up stage know as the Pallet Play House; a space where performances of all kinds – music, plays, stories, comedy, rants – can take place. Think ‘Boom Town’ in the centre of Donny. Think local stories being performed by local people.

This week we are reaching out to you to come down and join us as we talk about Doncopolitan, Rooted and Donny life. We’ll be at the Museum building planters (thanks again Mr Papacassi), designing banners and creating decor for our main event; a Harvest Moon Party which will take place in October.

Thursday 20th August. Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery Bring the kids for free workshops. Banner Making and Planting at the Musuem.

Saturday 22nd August. Sir Nigel Gresley Square as part of Doncaster Pride.

Experience living off the land in a Yurt. Help make a planter and decor for Rooted.

Sunday  23rd August. Cask Corner

We’ll be dressing the ‘smoking area’ as part of the ‘Rock the Greens’ event.

Rooted Launch Event #DoncasterIsGreat #ILoveDN #DNweekeND

flower bed

This weekend saw Doncaster’s second DNweekeND arts festival, and what a weekend it was!

Or so we’re told. Unfortunately we were part of it so we missed a lot of really cool stuff. That said we did get to *do* a lot of really cool stuff ourselves. Like build planters out of reclaimed materials such as wood, old cooking oil tins, baskets, tins…


making planters 2

making planters

…tea pots…

tea pot

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…and even a pair of old boots…

boot planter

This was all part of the launch of the Rooted project. An arts and agriculture event set in the grounds of Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery and the adjoining Art Park. In conjunction with Doncaster Urban Growers (DUG) and the Doncopolitan we will be developing the project over the coming months. We will be building a series of sculptural planters for the site and hosting a number of workshops and performance events in the run up to our grand finale in the winter. The launch event included performances too…

rooted circle

uke performance 3

…from a very talented ukulele songstress…

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…Sammy Williams…

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…to spoken word from Doncopolitan‘s Rachel Horne

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…to a poetry recital from the wonderful Joie Carruthers…

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…to an amazing performance from rising star, Bam Morgan…

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Unfortunately the rain clouds started to close in, but we were lucky enough (or forward thinking enough…) to have PixieWork’s 16ft Yurt to hand…


…so we popped inside for one of the best (and most intimate) little gigs I’ve enjoyed in ages…

bam yurt 2

bam 4

bam yurt

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And this was just the beginning. Rooted is a grass-roots project with each event set to be bigger and better until the grande finale. If you’d like to be at the next event then watch this space.

If you’d like to get involved then leave a comment or email us via doncopolitan[at]gmail[dot]com

Willow Hey project and the Women of Cawder Estate


An early start to the day this morning, me and Landrover Dave left my house at eight oclock and went on a none consumerist spending spree, we spent almost £200 in less that fifteen minutes and not a designer item in sight, the bulk of the money was spent on gardening resources and tools for both the Willow Hey site and for our new growers on the Cawder housing estate. We began our work on site, planting on tomatoes and peppers which we had picked up at a knock down price as part of our earlier shopping spree.

Big up the Princes Trust team!

A group of young people working their way through the Princes trust program chose to carry out their work placement on our site, which has been great for us hooking up with people in our area, and also their invaluable insistence and input into our…

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Rooted: Launches this weekend! #DNweekeND #DoncasterIsGreat #ILoveDN


As part of Doncaster’s DNweekeND, PermaFuture, the DUG, PixieWorks and the Doncopolitan have teamed up to launch the Rooted project. Throughout the summer we will be building a unique, community led, pop-up garden and performance space made out of reclaimed materials in the grounds of Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery on Chequer Road.

There will be workshops – including ‘An Introduction to Yurt Building‘, ‘How To Make Seed Bombs‘ and ‘Growing in a Small Space‘ – and music in the afternoon. The event starts 12pm, Saturday 20th June, 2015.

Watch this space for more details.

Get growing great Lever 2015: The growing Revolution continues!


We began this project a year or so ago with a view to supporting growers in our area for as long as possible. The way that we have managed to achieve this has been by carefully spending our small pots of funding and by producing some of the plants ourselves for our growers. With something like gardening there is almosts always a way to continue a project, and we have tried our best to ensure that we have continuity with all of our projects because food poverty is not going to go away, neither is the out of reach pricing of organic produce for people on our estate. Here are some pictures of one of growers efforts this year, and as you can see things are really moving along for this couple.

Growers Michelle and Trev taking a break from Gardening for five minutes. Growers Michelle and Trev taking a break from Gardening for five minutes.

The main growing area of the garden full of first early and main crop potatoes. The main growing area of the…

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