Transition Belsize is a community group in the NW3 area of London seeking to design a better future for our local area. Our aim is to come up with a vision of a greener and happier Belsize, to strengthen community through fun, useful and sociable activities. If you live, work or play in NW3, then you’re very welcome to join us.
A great fun morning was had by all last week at local primary school St Pauls, when Anna Maynard was invited in to judge the Dig it Club's annual food growing competition. The 'Lettuce be friends' project started in March when all 7 years in the school were given a different packet of lettuce seeds ranging from 'Freckles' in year 1 to 'Little gems' in Reception to 'Rocket' in Year 5. Each class was also given a tyre and some good quality compost (we loove Moorland Gold) and was asked to grow as much delicious, tasty lettuce as possible.
So after a wet wet Spring giving way to a scorching scorching July...how did the kids do?
Super afternoon watering plants (avoiding the heat of the midday sun!) and harvesting broad beans, peas, rocket, chives and planting up Lauren's salad plugs from the selling of Transiton Press. We all had lovely raw snacks of curly kale and broad beans mostly. We topped up the water butts - and the PI managers were most helpful when a guest parked their car on the hose!! :0)))
After planting one raspberry plant in my garden a few years ago, the canes have now spread like weeds. In past years I rarely got more than a handful of fruit, but this year the canes are covered in red fruit. While there's not enough to bother making jam properly, it's the perfect amount for refrigerator jam. Fridge jam is basically just a fruit compote that you store in the fridge, so there's no need to mess around with sterilizing jars.
Last Saturday Transition Belsize set up a stall outside Budgens in Belsize Park for their London Food Festival. We sold copies of the Transition Free Press and we also spoke to passers-by, telling about our activites and the projects we run in the area. Many of the people we met live close by and we hope some of these people will get involved in our activities and projects later in the year.
On Saturday, a group of us tidied up the Fruitery ready for the St Peter's Church Arts Week Open Day on 22nd June.
Despite the rain, the garden did need some additional watering and weeds have now been removed from the paths.The patio area has been swept and some additional screws added to the wooden pallet furniture.
On Saturday we ran a stall jointly with the Swiss Cottage Library promote green organisations in Camden. A wide range of literature was available and there was a lot of interest from passers-by.
We took the opportunity to water the Swiss Cottage raised beds and were pleased to see that the rows of seeds that had been sown a few weeks earlier, were sprouting (nasturtiums, broad beans, runner beans, leeks, cabbage and sprouts).
Transition Belsize is not the only organisation to promote the idea that setting up allotments in high profile public spaces is a good way to encourage people to collaborate to improve the environment.
A few stops down the Northern Line, you will find that the Brutalist concrete jungle of the South Bank has been transformed into a gardeners’ paradise. A series of allotments, created from reclaimed wood, has been erected along the Thames, in front of the Royal Festival Hall. Hopefully, we will soon be seeing the area blooming with fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. There are also 200 window boxes.