March 30, 2017
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Thank you!

‘Thank you’ Peopleplaceslogo_Web_40

To all the people in all the places we have had the privilege to work with.

March 29, 2017
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Farewell lunch

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Thank you to Hesters Way Community Resource Centre for hosting a ‘Farewell’ lunch for us yesterday.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us.

We will miss you.

March 7, 2017
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March is here already!

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Time has gone by so quickly – and March is now upon us! It will only be a few weeks before we say a final farewell.

If you need to contact us we will be in the office until the end of March. If you need to contact us later in the year we will be monitoring emails until the end of September.

November 1, 2016
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Saying goodbye in 2017

At the end of March 2017 we will be bringing People and Places to a close.

Thank you to everybody we have had the privilege to work with over the past 10 years.

We assure you that we will take the greatest care to ensure all those individuals we are currently working with are supported to make this a positive experience.

imagesJOB4G0OAPlease do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.

May 23, 2016
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People and Places have tea with the Queen!

People and Places have tea with the Queen!We were extremely honoured to be invited to attend a garden party with Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Lucky to have a dry and warm day and, as neither of us had been to the Palace before, everything we encountered was magical!

Lots of conversations with some interesting people from across the world, and fortunate enough to see Her Majesty quite closely. We were very struck by her ability to combine a genuine human interest in those she met with an obvious regal presence.  Military bands were playing throughout the afternoon, which added a richness to the splendour of the day.

Tea was amazing! We enjoyed delicate sandwiches and a fantastic range of exquisite cakes. Walking in the grounds, we were surprised that such a beautifully laid out garden of around 40 acres could be nestled in the centre of the City. We even saw a squawking parakeet, which added an exotic touch to a very English scene.

October 5, 2015
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Growing and transforming ideas

Today we put our heads together for some serious designing around the table in the middle of our allotment.

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As we went around the circle coming up with ideas and reflecting on what we had seen at the Cherry Wood project and Days cottage, as well as designs in other cultures, we realised that each one of us had a similar vision for what we wanted for our garden – a multi-purpose shelter with a detachable roof for rainy days. Seeing as we were all rather taken with the A frame kitchen at Cherry Wood project we began planning this out as an idea.

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Enthusiastically, we put bamboo sticks in the ground to measure out how big it could be, thinking we had loads of space. Rather soon, our area shrank as we realised we need space to take a lawnmower and rotarvator around the edges and the guide ropes would need to extend into our vegetable patches…not ideal. We scratched our heads for a while.

Very quickly and organically we came up with a new idea which transformed into something quite original. Using the geodesic greenhouse at Cherry wood as inspiration, we realised we could really make the most out of our small area with a circular structure. Then, as a way of keeping it semi-outdoors, we decided to have it half covered by some polythene on one side, and cut off like the side of a cave on one side. Laurie was very excited to realise that this shape would be even better to train plants up the walls. We have designed a half geodesic shelter which will look great in the garden as it will be, in design, somewhere between the willow tipi and the poly tunnel. It ticks all our boxes in terms of being sheltered, but outdoors, a working space, but also a social space. We also have most of the resources and tools we will need already on site.

It was really inspiring to be part of a quick transforming design process in which everyone had a chance to feed in their ideas. Now, the challenge will be building the structure. We will go back to our drawing boards this week and take a look at our resources once again! And so the building process begins.

September 16, 2015
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Eco Design Phase one – Inspiration!

The first month of the Eco Design Project has flown by! Pip and Ally’s camera has been rolling and our notebooks have been scribbled on.

The process of designing something new for our garden based on our local resources has begun! The plants and produce are our most obvious natural resources…so we have considered what they can be used for beyond eating. We looked at the plant folklore and medicinal uses of trees and plants like Rowan, Elder, Comfrey, Sage and Thyme. The lack of Parsley didn’t stop us from breaking into the occasional chorus of Simon and Garfunkel! We also challenged ourselves to identify the varieties of tomatoes in the garden by taste, as Mac presented us with six different varieties. This process allowed us to see the garden as a place where history and flavour is important!elder tree

Then we looked at how people from other world cultures use plants and other resources in their lifestyles. We took the examples of the ‘floating islands’ Uros on Lake Titicaca in Peru, as the Aymara people build their islands, boats houses, medicines and food all from their most important resource – lake reeds. We also looked at tents, yurts and gers built by people in Central Asia using their local resources.

The Cherry Wood Project allowed us to see Yurts used in English woodland, first hand. This inspiring project, run by Tim, exists using the resources of a forest near Bath to build their homes, furniture, to grow their food and build inspiring sustainable education centres. They repay the earth by coppicing and managing the 45 hectares of woodland surrounding their homes. We enjoyed eating pizza and cake cooked on their cob oven under a shelter built from timber of the forest… definite food for thought and our stomachs! Barri was an expert at stomping clay and sand to make cob, and Miranda enjoyed kicking it! James was the muscle involved in lifting the bucket of slurry and clay.  Everyone left with smiles and full of ideas.2015-09-14 05.09.32

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Now, we are thinking about the history and development of our own garden and looking at hundreds of Anthony’s photos he’s taken over the years. Over the next few weeks we will start designing a building project in which we can make the best use of our natural resources as well as building something which will benefit the garden and ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 10, 2015
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Eco Design – Taster day – take two!

Garden July 2015 (54)We were joined on the garden by Pip, who has a lifetime experience in film making and editing. Pip has joined our garden groups over this spring and summer bringing his camcorder to record the groups happenings. Everyone enjoyed this exciting way of recording our gardening and learned some first steps in photography.

The Eco Design is an organically evolving project with a broad framework. Pip’s involvement is invaluable in recording our progress in a very lively way and continuing the groups interests in film making and photography.Garden July 2015 (96)

Anthony was with us today and we had a reflective time ‘connecting’ the ideas from Andy Goldsworthy landscape art to our thoughts on projects in the garden.

We decided to make a small dry stone wall from limestone found in the garden. By making a double wall we were able to plant 2 peach seedling trees raised by us. Pip filmed the building and we all had a great time in creating this joint project as a beginning for our ideas through the life of the project.

June 17, 2015
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Eco design taster day

On a hot and sunny Monday afternoon, we at the garden explored new activities and ideas that will be part of the upcoming Eco design project that will kick off in mid August.

It was a great experience to be in the garden for an afternoon in which we didn’t have to get on with the weeding or watering straight away: our aim was to begin the Eco design journey by beginning to look at our garden with fresh eyes.

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Looking to Andy Goldworthy for inspiration, a land artist who use local, natural materials to create art, we began looking at and thinking about the resources available to us for making things. Miranda brought seed pods and grasses to the table, which contrasted with Barri’s idea of using concrete slabs. James suggested the dogwood plant and Mac had collected some too, among other leaves and reeds which could be woven together to form a structure. So, perhaps a mixture of man made and natural objects combined into an art piece would work as an idea?

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Looking at Andy Goldsworthys’ work with trees planted in concrete we came up with an idea to grow our nectarine trees inside a dry stone wall. The raspberry crumble cake and tea seemed to help our creativity! We were amazed that within an hour we had managed to combine our ideas into a design.

This is just a small taster for what has to come for the Eco design project, in which we will have much more time to design and make something using as many available resources as possible, as well as inspiration from local ecological projects.

In the next taster session we will work as a team to build the dry stone tree wall. This will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions and find out more about the Eco project.

We all enjoyed spending time just looking at the shapes, patterns and structures we have in our garden – looking at them in a different way. Even the weeds we could just appreciate for what they are, as well as the crops which are now going to seed, and the dry pods of the spring bluebells. The shades of green, the scent of the sweet peas and the shadow cast by the willow structure create a wonderful space.

We are looking forward to getting stuck into designing, building and using new things which can compliment the beauty of the space and the way that nature works.

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June 5, 2015
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Cold crops

During May the temperature nose dived. There was a persistent cold wind sweeping the plots and although a fair amount of rainfall occurred it wasn’t helpful combined with such low temperatures! Not only were we keeping our jackets on, we had to protect the outdoor crops by a layer of horticultural fleece. The runner beans and outdoor tomatoes are very susceptible to cold winds. Our early potatoes still managed to get damaged by the cold weather though and cropping will be delayed by a few weeks. Germination has been a bit slow and erratic. The weather doesn’t seem to stop the weeds growing though, so Martin and Matthew have been chasing them out of the plots in an ongoing process! We can only hope that June will bring the good weather that we have been hoping for to get for the crops.

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Its not all bad news though as the plants in the polytennels are doing really well, especially the tomato varieties. We have been cutting and using spinach, radishes and lettuces which are delicious in salads. We have also been harvesting the early potatoes in the polytunnel that Laurie, Barri and James planted in January. Everyone enjoyed them , whether they made a fresh potato salad or roasted them in the oven. We will put that on our list to do again next season! Anthony is keeping busy potting more and more ready to plant out.

Looking ahead, Sean has been busy leading the group in netting the cherry tree to protect the fruit from hungry birds. We love the birds on site but not when they steal all of our fruits! We have to keep an eye on the strawberries too. We are looking forward to the fruit harvest later in the season, but it still feels a long way off. Hopefully there’s warmer weather just around the corner so we can start coming out of winter hibernation properly, ditch the jackets and fleece and enjoy the sunshine.