Recently the Co-op Gardening Club visited a local community garden. Club Member and Western MCC member Cath Palgrave shares the clubs visit.
One of the biggest successes of Central England Co-op members groups is the South Birmingham Gardening Club. This longstanding group organises talks, plant swaps and garden visits for its members, enabling tips and skill sharing as well as the opportunity to make new friends.
As with all of the members groups, COVID and subsequent lock downs meant putting in-person meetings online. Although it has been hard, the group still managed to create a full program of talks so that people could still learn and carry on connecting.
However, there is no substitute for actually visiting a garden and on June 23rd, with suitable safety measures in place, that’s just what we did! And what a garden! We visited Masefield Community Garden in Northfield, Birmingham. This garden has been created by amateur gardeners and volunteers to create a beautiful, peaceful space that all of the community can enjoy. There are raised vegetable beds, fruit trees and bushes, a pond, a forest school area, mud and water play areas and a permaculture area -based on the principles of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. I think it is fair to say that these principles are very evident at Masefield Gardens. The earth is gardened organically and a haven for pollinators. The workers are rewarded with an abundant harvest for this. It is a great place to learn new skills, and such a peaceful space that you can’t help but feel calm and slow down- great for caring for people. As for the final principle of Fair Share, this is shown by being an area for all ages to enjoy and of course sharing the space with insects, mammals and other creatures as well as sharing the harvest with neighbours.
Personally I really enjoyed getting new ideas for both my garden (I’ve wanted a greenhouse for ages and they have made one out of bubble-wrap- I’m going to give it a try!) and the community orchard I help to run (such great and informative signage and a compost toilet!) I also loved the opportunity to see people face to face (with social distancing of course) after such a long time of meeting on zoom, and the gardening club are going to have more outdoor garden meetings until we feel it is the right time to return to our regular meeting place. In fact, maybe we could meet again in Masefield Garden as we never sampled the delights of one of the highlights I would be remiss not to mention- their clay pizza oven! Hopefully soon!
Thank you to all at Masefield for being such wonderful hosts.
For more information on Masefield Garden: https://www.facebook.com/masefieldgarden