With very Short notice we At Bentley Urban farm invite you to our first annual Gathering!!
This is the weekend Saturday the 24th of September we will be driving, walking, riding and generally meandering around Bentley and the Doncaster area as a whole identifying, adopting, learning about the apple trees we find and gathering all the apples we can. We will also be giving a variety of talks along the way about various methods of caring for those trees we adopt and what we can all do to preserve them.
We will be charging £10 to cover our educators time, a light lunch, though we will probably just go to the chippy! and to put some cash in the coffers so we can offer even more excellent adventures !!
It’s been four weeks since we were handed the keys to this place and its mysteries are slowly being revealed. Strange fences emerging from the sea of thistle, a sign post that doesn’t point anywhere and the jobs board with echoes of a ship lost on the oceans.
Captain’s log. Last entry, March 2012.
It can be a spooky place but we are slowly making it a home.
The weirdest thing though is the paths. Laid out carefully in red brick sets and, I might add, with some significant skill some have a definite purpose. Access for the disabled to the raised beds that have become Doncaster’s main tourist attraction we dubbed “the chive Lawn”. Access to the rear of the polytunnel and greenhouse. Vitally important for moving stock and equipment in and out.
What’s not so clear are the ones that seem to lead nowhere useful. The spur that lead to the fence, the half hidden trek to the rear gate. That not only doesn’t point to the gate but stops half way there!!
There must have been a plan. I’m just not sure what it was.
And whilst we may think we can do better I’m sure in generations to come people will wonder “what the hell were they thinking??”
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…
…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…
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.
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 🙂
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.
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…
…and even a pair of old boots…
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…