A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Launching the games!

Celebrate this Midsummer time; the longest, lightest time of the year is a true food grower’s delight. It’s a time to celebrate the hard work done throughout the winter – preparing and the spring months of sowing and seedling care. These days of warmth and light bring plant growing peaks. They are a sign-post the harvesting months that will come.

Cornflower border for an abundant glasshouse crop of beans
  • Marking midsummer – a true community food growers’ fiesta

For Organiclea, marking  the seasons through the seasonal equinox and solstice cycles is important to our understanding of the urban food growing work we do. Midsummer this year brought a special chance to celebrate all the work that so many people together, have done at this new food growing site. Growing plants and people together in Northeast London is this project’s resiliant strength and it was celebrated this merry midsummer by over 100 people all connected to this work in diverse ways. The 19th June saw the launch of the Hawkwood Horticultural Games, Celebration of achievements presented to adult learners, elderflower bar hosted by the Energy Cafe, solar cooking demonstrations and a community Barn Dance in the warehouse – magic … Wondering about the games? See a selection of the action shots below and join us next time!

  • Launching the 2010 Hawkwood horticultural games

Eyeing up the salad leaves for the first competition: ‘Tossing the salad’  – whose leaf hits the ground with the most metres travelled? Ready, steady, throw – 3 chances, trophies for all ages!

Holding onto the yard stick – Steve’s the umpire in this hotly contested salad tossing heat.

The salad tossing starts with Aysha – go girl, throw that salad leaf far…

Micheal shows off the twirling launch technique.

Spot the leaf in this photo – thrown with true salad tossing umph by Organiclea’s grower and urban salad producer extraordinaire – Ru!

Time for another game – throw that welly or ‘welly wanging’ – go Sarah!

Bottoms pulled up for the hessian sack race. Sacks that have been essential mulching material at Organiclea’s Hawkwood food growing site.

Sack race goes upwards and onwards!

The finale was the Tug of Peace, which saw the Waltham Forest team narrowly beaten 2-0 by a strong Rest Of The World outfit dominated by heavies from Hackney. We’ll be back next year!

Carved out plant pot trophies were presented to all the winners – Mens’, Womens’ and Kids’ categories in Salad Tossing, Welly Wanging and Sack Racing, and the team Tug of Peace; as well as certificates of achievement presented to 7 learners who have completed a 10 week course with Organiclea for adults with learning disabilities. All learners have carried out key food growing activities for the Hawkwood project and demonstrated their skills in food and plant production. Micheal Atkins is presented with his certificate below – and the local press release about this Award ceremony is below that. We are very pleased with the contribution made by this class and the course to community food growing and learning.

LOCAL PRESS REPORT STARTS: 3 Cheers for the real winners!!

Saturday 19th June saw the launch of the first Waltham Forest
Horticultural Games at Organiclea’s growing site, the Hawkwood Plant
Nursery in North Chingford. Winners of the local gardening games which
included champion long distance welly throwers and high speed sack racers
were joined by local learners who through Community Learning and Skills
Service (CLaSS Waltham Forest) have very successfully completed a 1O week
gardening course at the Plant Nursery. On Saturday these adult learners
with learning disabilities were presented with certificates of achievement
commending their contribution to the Hawkwood Nursery’s garden
developments this season and their skills as gardeners. All learners have
grown plants from seed, made compost, fed and watered growing vegetables
and prepared new fields for planting crops.

Feroz Khan from Waltham Forest adult learning staff (CLaSS) presented
certificates and described how “supported the learners have been through
this learning at the Hawkwood Nursery and how important gardening skills
and activity can be for imporving the well-being of people from all walks
of life.” Gardening tutor and member of Organiclea, Clare Joy talked about
“the real pride that the Hawkwood project has in the achievement of these
learners and looks forward to developing this programme of training and
learning next year in partnership with CLaSS Waltham Forest.” There will
be more gardening courses next year at this North Chingford gardening site
and these are open to all. There will be a specialised course for adults
with learning disabilities which will build on the success of this year’s
training. Contact 020 8524 4994 for information about these opportunities.


Categories:  News

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