Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

07-10-2015: Growing our own

A work in constant progress - planted veg in the Penrhyn Road growing space.

We started the month with community gardening and plan to end it with ponds. There is a little too much to fit into one blog, so I've decided to make this a two parter, with part two to follow soon. 

...So back to the start - as opposed to the future with the ponds :) 

At the start of the month we ran some community garden launch days, providing an opportunity for volunteers to plant up various vegetables in the community garden spaces at Penrhyn Road and Kingston Hill to grow over the 2015-2016 academic year. Our Penrhyn Road site will be moving to temporary accommodation in Spring 2016, but we will be back after the Town House Project finishes. 

Growing wild in the summer
The garden at Penrhyn road was looking really overgrown, with our experiments last year of mixing up the planting not quite going to plan, as after the initial harvests, we lot track of which plants were ones we had added, and which ones had made their own way there!

The early shift
Luckily we had lots of people turn up from the Environmental Working Group as well as staff from the LRC's, Estates and the Sustainability Hub for part of the planting event, so we were able to get the main bed cleared quickly

Running around the community garden
We were able also able to clear a secondary bed where we decided to plant mint (an easily recognisable plant) as well as flower bulbs, to increase the flowering plants in this part of the garden for bees.

Nigel shows that you can be well dressed and still get close to nature as he helps firm up the weeded soil reading for planting.
The great thing about both growing spaces are that they are really close to the teaching facilities at each campus. People can just pop out between meeting/lectures and, regardless of how they are attired, they can get involved for 10 min or over lunch and do anything from a quick bit of weeding to watering the plants. These activities could even count towards Green Impact (internal site). 

Jakob gets to grips with the mint plants and plans out what he can do at the KH garden 
Beatrice and Sarah plant up the autumn salads - these can be harvested on rotation from now! 

Dillon and Tommy join Beatrice and Giulia to help finish the planting, watering and netting 
Some netting to help protect the cabbages etc. from pigeons
The finished planting
Jakob came down from Kingston Hill to help us at the Penrhyn Road site, we managed to get plants up to Kingston Hill on the 12th and Jakob spend a good few hours getting them all into the ground.
More veg in need of planting at Kingston Hill
Nicely weeded and planted
We don't has as many volunteers for the Kingston Hill growing space. If you are interested in growing vegetables here, Jakob has volunteered to be a point of contact for staff and students based at Kingston Hill. Please email him if you are interested in helping this year.  

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