Partners

Another successful Souper Sunday at Common Growth Sunday 9th November

Once again the Common Growth Gates were open all afternoon to welcome anyone to share this lovely space created by the local community. It was cold, but the sun glimmered a bit and the wind kept down. There were a few jobs planned, some members got to work laying the paving slabs for the new greenhouse, others moving soil that had been misplaced on the daffodil patch. New member Shirley was welcomed with the task of the puzzle of the Hexagon Herb Planter! And the creeping rose was treated to a pruning.

Have we got enough sand?
Have we got enough sand?
Spread the sand over the black material
Spread the sand over the black material
How level?
How level?
Completed base! It was really fun work!
Completed base! It was really fun work!
Ingredients from local shops and market
Ingredients from local shops and market
Carrot and ginger soup, extra warming with the ginger
Carrot and ginger soup, extra warming with the ginger
Welcome and tasty after hefting soil and pruning
Welcome and tasty after hefting soil and pruning
Grow Wild field kitchen
Grow Wild field kitchen

Meanwhile Louise from Grow Wild arrived with hot soup to serve from 2pm. Ingredients from the garden are a bit scarce now so the soup was made with vegetables from local Deptford Market and the Broca Food Shop situated opposite John Stainer Primary School. Warming carrot and ginger soup or smoked pumpkin and squash was on offer today. The sharing of soup during these cold winter days has become a welcome focus to the garden activity. Discussion abounds about, ingredients, methods of soup making, healthy eating and future planting for soup next year. Just what the aim of Souper Sunday was, to encourage the use and development of Common Growth. Plans are afoot to continue the greenhouse construction next weekend but alas Grow Wild is unavailable. On hearing this Common Growth member Carlos is considering making some soup to share instead! He has picked up some soup cooking tips from Louise so why not go along to support Common Growth and try out Carlos’s soup too, next Sunday 16th December. All are welcome to assist with the garden, or just come and enjoy the space and the company of others. Next Grow Wild Souper Sunday at Common Growth Sunday 30th December 2pm

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Souper Sunday – Common Growth 25 November

Posted on by Louise

Sun strove to shine and Common Growth members gathered for a very successful Souper Sunday. With the Common Growth gates, on Sandborne Road wide open, passer-bys wandered in, others came in response to flyers, some heard through the Brockley Blog, some just lived in the flats next door. Hot winter vegetable soup was served from 2pm, accompanied by home made rye bread made by a Common Growth member; delicious was the verdict and what a sociable way to encourage any one from the local community to use and enjoy the garden.

It was great to see the garden full of people all chatting and working together
It was great to see the garden full of people all chatting and working together
Hot soup served from 2pm
Hot soup served from 2pm
Winter jobs in the garden - preparing beds
Winter jobs in the garden – preparing beds
Winter planting - onions and garlic
Winter planting – onions and garlic
Garden members made bread and cake to share
Garden members made bread and cake to share
chopping the leek freshly pulled from the garden today
Chopping potatoes for the soup demonstration
When to add the spices and how much salt do you use?
When to add the spices and how much salt do you use?
Discussing the quantities of stock and when to add to the soup
Discussing the quantities of stock and when to add to the soup

Some visitors wanted to help garden before having soup, so planting onions and garlic began in the prepared raised beds. Some had come to see the soup making demonstration, to get ideas for tasty and healthy ways to enjoy more garden produce. We picked and added leeks, wild garlic, rosemary and thyme to our communal soup making pot. The soup making tip of the day was to hold off adding water until your base of onion, carrot and celery cooked in oil, along with spices and herbs had cooked through. The flavours are released into the hot oil. Then add your main vegetables, we added potatoes and leeks cut into small chunks. Thank you Sylvie! Steam these with the base ingredients, stirring and allowing flavours to infuse for 10-20 mins. Only add stock liquid once the flavours have had time to release in the oil. Then cook gently until the whole pot bubbles gently mashing the ingredients to create a thick soup. More stock liquid can be added for your desired consistency. And a good pinch of pepper and salt to taste. Next Souper Sunday at Common Growth is in 2 weeks time on Sunday 9 December

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Foraging on the hill

Posted on by Louise

Meet you in the Hill Station at 11am Before he leaves to live in Brighton, Grow Wild asked Darren Flint to share his foraging knowledge with them. We met at the Hill Station Cafe, in between the two Telegraph Hill parks, then over a cup of tea, Darren opened our minds to world of free food pickings right on our doorstep. We found out that all manner of common plant life can be picked for eating. Well prepared, Darren showed us on his smart phone exactly where in Lewisham Rocket, Wild Garlic, berries and fungi can be found. He even gave us recipes for foraged feasts.

An abundance of edibles outside Telegraph Hill Centre
An abundance of edibles outside Telegraph Hill Centre
Chickweed
Chickweed
Plantain
Plantain
Collecting sloe berries
Collecting sloe berries
Hawthorn
Hawthorn

Just a stone’s throw away! Only 5 minutes walk from the cafe around the back of the Telegraph Hill Centre and into the top park we found at least a variety of different plants to taste and take home to use in cooking. We found Chickweed, Mallow and Clover all tasty in salads. Bramble leaves and Rose Hips for tea. Then down in the bottom park just by the skate park, we found a whole bush of Sloes. We had also been looking for a particular delicious fungi , called J which grows on old damp Elder trees. We were disappointed not to find it but the day was fresh and dry and the Elders we found were cultivated or young with no old branches.When will we forage again? As Darren pointed out Autumn and Winter are frugal times for foraging but there are still pickings to be had. The group who accompanied Darren, 2 foraging participants who had heard about the activity through Project Dirt, Ella the Grow Wild Growing Coordinator and Louise the Food Coordinator all learnt a great deal from Darren and are keen to forage regularly. Forage mapping On the back of this session Grow Wild intend to organise regular foraging expeditions. The plan is to map what and where various free food sources are growing in the SE14 & SE4 areas and to establish a foraging group that communicates their finds and meet to forage and cook together. Sharing foraging knowledge If you already are a forager in the area and would like to share your knowledge please get in touch with Louise or Ella at Grow Wild and look out for further foraging activity organised by Grow Wild in the near future….. Many thanks to Darren Flint from Common Growth who willingly gave his time and expertise with much enthusiasm and thought.

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Sun 25th November – Grow Wild Field Kitchen: SOUPer Sunday at Common Growth

Posted on by Ella
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Posted in Cooking, Growing, Health, Network, Participation, Partners | 1 Reply

Cooking with Sommerville Youth Club

Posted on by Louise
Where is Sommerville Youth Club? Grow Wild has been running cooking sessions every other week in the recently established Sommerville Youth Club which has now settled into the Telegraph Hill Centre using the Craft Room from 7 to 9.30 on a Wednesday and Friday evening. Grow Wild cooking in the community Every other Wednesday since the the 24th of October Louise from Grow Wild has been cooking with groups of 4 club members at a time. The sessions are really sociable with lots of laughing and joking with one another, whilst we collaborate and learn to cook tasty treats to take away. How do you know when the toffee will set? Our first session was just before Halloween so Toffee Apples were on the menu. Reminders of Food Safety rules began the session, in particular when making Toffee we were very aware that sugar boils at 135C! Twelve club members made 4 or 5 toffee apples each, to share with their friends, many had never made toffee before. We learnt the technique of testing boiled sugar to see when it will set..and what burnt sugar tastes like! Once toffee was made the dipping, twirling and setting the coated apples to set, was great fun and very satisfying…finally a crisp, sweet, toffee apple, a great way to eat one of our 5 a day! How long does it take to fry a soft in the middle, golden crisp chip?, The next session was chips! Grow Wild want to promote eating seasonably, so we had a variety of winter vegetables on offer to chip, some donated by a Grow Wild supporter who had rather too much in their organic veg box that week. (Thank you ) Some of the club members had never peeled a potato, some didn’t know what a sweet potato looked like, nor what a parsnip was. We peeled and chipped carrots and potatoes too and learnt how to fry gently, then to double fry for crispness! The general verdict was, ordinary potatoes are best! Most of us thought the sweet potatoes and the carrots were too sweet and didn’t crisp up as well. We will cook and taste different varieties of potatoes in the months to come, in order to choose a variety to grow in the Youth Club’s new vegetable plot situated down the hill at the Sommerville Adventure Playground. The same batter ingredients for fritters, Yorkshires or pancakes Pancakes was the choice of most in the third cooking session. We made up a batter with flour eggs and milk choosing to either make fritters, or pancakes with a variety of fillings to choose from. Sugar was the favoured topping for pancakes and banana fritters were new to some… Future Developments The newly appointed Youth Leader, Lol, with Grow Wild support, would like to establish cooking as a regular session at the club, with members working towards the planning, shopping and cooking for an evening meal for all at the club to share. Plus cooking for events and celebrations,with a view to having a food stall at the Festival. We also plan to invite guests from the local community to share their cooking knowledge and recipes with club members. In the longer term We will also be offering training for Food Safety Certificates and encourage cooking for events and celebrations with a view to having a Youth Club food stall. We are also supporting Sommerville with their vegetable plot, planting food this winter to harvest and cook seasonably next year.
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The Food Mixer!

Posted on by Ella
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Bold Vision is proud to announce the arrival of Mixer number 3 – this time it’s the Food Mixer! Go here to enter your soil testing info Inspired by the launch of the Grow Wild project based in and around News Cross and Telegraph Hill this edition collects together contributions from artists, writers, chefs and cultivators all connected by the area’s market garden history. Every copy includes free litmus paper for finding out what kind of soil you have, and a voucher to exchange for a free clove of garlic to grow. You can pick up your copy from • Green Shoots, Besson Street, SE14 5SE; • the Hill Station, Kitto Rd, SE14 5SG; • the Telegraph Hill Centre office, Kitto Rd, SE14 5TY; • the Common Growth garden, Sandbourne Rd SE4 2NS and • New Cross Learning, New Cross Rd, SE14 6AS Or look out for the Food Mixer in local coffee shops and other outlets. If you would like a copy but aren’t able to visit to pick one up, let us know at boldvisionmail@gmail.com or phone 07812 638301 and we will try to get one to you. Happy reading, planting, growing and eating!
Posted in Cooking, Growing, Partners | 1 Reply

Halloween at Common Growth

Posted on by Ella

Grow Wild and Permaculture Kids Club enjoyed hosting a Halloween Fun day for families at Common Growth Community Garden on Sandbourne Road. Families enjoyed a range of activities for all ages responding to and celebrating the changes in Autumn including; a scavenger hunt, making art using things found in the garden, storytelling, putting the garden to bed for winter, singing.

transient art
soup ingredients
soup demo1
soup demo
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DSC03651

Grow Wild led a cooking workshop of both pea and pumpkin soup with garlic croutons. Children collected herbs to add to the soup from the garden and were shown what ingredients went into the soup and how to chop up the vegetables. Grow Wild also led a planting workshop with garlic – looking at what family it comes from, how to plant and look after it – with each participant taking a planted garlic clove home – in theme with the new Food Mixer.

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Grow Wild goes live. Notes from Partners Networking Meeting 09.09.12

Posted on by catherine

Last Sunday 9 September Grow Wild was officially launched to partner organisations. There was a great turnout with lots of local organisations there all keen to share ideas, offer help and support and network with one another. Thanks so much to all of you who came along and for your generous offers of help. We really appreciated it. For those who couldn’t make it there is another opportunity to come and say hello to the team this Saturday 15 September at the Telegraph Hill Come and Look community day. For more information go to: www.nxgtrust.org.uk/?p=382 and click on the link to a PDF containing all the information. The Grow Wild team will do its best to get round all the venues where activities are taking place so please do come and say hello. Notes from the launch The launch provided a great opportunity for the Grow Wild team to let others know about the project and to meet local organisations who came along. It was also an opportunity for those organisations to tell us about their work and ideas, share their experiences and look at ways we can pool resources and expertise and work together. Cooking in the community using field kitchens There was a chat about the beauty of field kitchens as they can be set up anywhere that has access to water and involve local people cooking local produce. They help demystify cooking by showing people what can be cooked with just a few ingredients. They are great too for providing an opportunity for people to get together, particularly on an inter-generational level. The emphasis is on interacting and having fun. Sarah Bishop from Let’s Get Cooking said their organisation had done a lot of work in schools but is now expanding into the community with field kitchens. She said: “it’s great because it makes everything look simple and achievable”. Field kitchens get away from lecturing people and finger wagging. They provide inspiration, knowledge and hands on involvement. Growing things in small spaces We talked about the importance of finding opportunities to grow things in small spaces, particularly on land at the edge of parks to make the barriers between parks and urban land less noticeable. We also discussed getting some cross over between allotment holders and projects in schools. Publicity We discussed the various ways Grow Wild can publicise events and activities and link up with local organisations. These will primarily be:

  • placing articles in ‘The Mixer’ – a Bold Vision community publication whose next edition will be about food and growing
  • through the Grow Wild facebook page, Twitter, leaflets and posters
  • through the press (South London Press and other local publications such as the New Shopper)
  • putting information into school bags
  • attending local assemblies and ward meetings
  • distributing information to local organisations to put on their noticeboards and in their newsletters – Transition New Cross for example has a big mailing list and can distribute information from us to members.

Extra effort will be needed to get information to groups of people such as the elderly and newly arrived immigrants. Grow Wild will get to know who is working with different groups so that we can link in with them and take part in ongoing initiatives such as the Big Lunch. Alex, from Vitality TV, said he could come and film people taking part in projects and events and put it on their website, which allows free access. We also need to link in with local ward priorities – more info on Lewisham Council website. Mapping the area The Grow Wild team will spend the next few weeks mapping the local area to plot the location of existing and potential growing areas, identify local organisations that work in the area and local events that are taking place that we can get involved with. The local area or community was defined as all businesses, schools, clubs, health centres and groups in the SE14/SE4 area. Lewisham NHS Livia Lacamera, the public health dietician from Lewisham NHS South East London highlighted healthy eating resources available from the team and training which the Grow Wild team and volunteers can take advantage of. RSA survey Gaia Marcus, from the RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Commerce and Industry) told us about a four year project they have been involved in which has entailed surveying levels of wellbeing in the area. They have just completed an analysis of 400 people and can use this data to help Grow Wild leverage local projects and access funding. The focus of their research has been on reducing isolation and giving people a chance to get involved locally. Somerville playground Representatives from Somerville told us that they have developed a garden which now needs planting up. The Grow Wild team will be following this up with them in the near future. Transition New Cross Carlo from Transition New Cross kindly offered to organise social media for Grow Wild and has in fact already set up the new Grow Wild facebook page. He also said he could distribute information for the team through their database of members. Spice Time Joan Roach came along from Spice Time to tell us all about the Lewisham time credit scheme which sounds fascinating. The Grow Wild team will definitely be following this up to find out more and to see how we can use this scheme with our work. If you want any more information about the launch or Grow Wild please drop me a line at claire.growwild@gmail.com Claire Hallam Grow Wild project manager

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Our partners

Posted on by catherine
We have already talked to lots of food-related organisations in the area and more are coming in all the time. This is the way we are structured. For a full list of who we are already in touch with, see this pdf file grow wild partners

David Wild

Wildlife Photographer at Growwild.org.uk
I'm obsessed with photography, taking on projects involving animals, environmental causes and gardening projects. I live in London, in the United Kingdom.