What twilight gardening means to me

What twilight gardening means to me

I knew nothing about gardening before starting Twilight Gardening, the fortnightly volunteering scheme that the Skip Garden runs from March to November, writes Libby Page, now a regular Twilight Gardener. I had visited the magical garden several times before, and always felt it was an oasis against the backdrop of glass and steel in Kings Cross. So when I learnt about the scheme I thought I would give it a go.

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Canada Water and the Long Now

Canada Water and the Long Now

An important aspect of Global Generation’s approach is finding imaginative ways to evoke experiences of three levels of History or what Alex Evans calls – ‘The Long Now’. For us this means thinking about our current actions and how they affect the future, understanding our cultural histories and appreciating our shared history with the earth and the wider cosmos.

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Free Word and the GG Generators

Free Word and the GG Generators

I have often said it is not just the things we do in Global Generation that make a difference it is the stories we tell. Some of the stories have been borne though introducing the practice of what we refer to as Free Fall writing to the young people involved with Global Generation. Free Fall writing is a practice inspired by Barbara Turner-Vessalego, who wrote the book Writing Without a Parachute (2013). It’s wonderful to see these stories making their way out into the world, as I did at a recent Free Word Literary event dedicated to how writing can engage people in social and environmental action.

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Youth-led evenings of resistance

Youth-led evenings of resistance

The beginning of the year is a natural time for reflection - and it is certainly clear that the Skip Garden has now settled into the new site and has emerged as a living community space. In these turbulent times, when the differences between us tend to be emphasised (or even fabricated), the act of coming together in the spirit of deep listening, co-creating and co-habiting harmoniously is an act of resistance. Since the summer, we have hosted various community events and opportunities for intergenerational and intercultural exchanges. Two recent events have been particularly youth led and focused and have opened up the garden to new groups of people with the intention of nurturing a space for connection and celebration.

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Notes from the garden shed - January 2017

Notes from the garden shed - January 2017

The gardens team here at the Skip garden has decided to make 2017 a celebration of world vegetables.  We started well with a show at Somerset House where we had a board game asking people to guess not only what the six fruit and vegetables were (easy) but then to say where they originated from in the world (actually quite difficult).  We had a few people who knew one or two but nobody got them all.  My favourite ‘stab in the dark’ was that carrots come from Scandinavia (not).  

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Take a bow, young people! - Theatre project & Generators’ Graduation

Take a bow, young people! - Theatre project & Generators’ Graduation

It’s January 2017. Almost February. It may seem rather unusual to wish the year ahead will reflect the one that has just gone by. But when I read our young people’s script in response to the Donmar’s all-female staging of Shakespeare's The Tempest at King’s Cross, and I remember the sound of their voices projected across the theatre hall, I want to go back in time. I want to re-experience those moments, feeling that hundreds of years of tradition and literature can still be alive and filling up our souls with sense, with reason and purpose.

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The big and little gardeners: another year of Lunch and Learning

The big and little gardeners: another year of Lunch and Learning

Another full year for Lunch & Learning, youth programme manager Silvia gives us a round up of 2016. 

“Every generation of children instinctively nests itself in nature, no matter how tiny a scrap of it they can grasp. In a tale of one city child, the poet Audre Lord remembers picking tufts of grass which crept up through the paving stones in New York City and giving them as bouquets to her mother. It is a tale of two necessities. The grass must grow, no matter the concrete suppressing it. The child must find her way to the green, no matter the edifice which would crush it”. Jay Griffiths

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The Journey to Work...

The Journey to Work...

We all know that what makes each and every one of us feel inspired by and committed to finding and keeping meaningful work differs from person to person. But what ties us all together in terms of employability? What are the habits of mind that help us to thrive in our lives, in and out of work? And what are the best ways of cultivating these habits of mind? This is what we've set out to explore with our Global Generation WORKS programme participants, who are all young people aged under 30 and looking to get into work.

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An Olympics-inspired Bug Stadium for Eurostar, by AKSHATA, 17

An Olympics-inspired Bug Stadium for Eurostar, by AKSHATA, 17

My experience of creating a bug hotel, or rather a ‘Bug Stadium’, has been an amazing one. It all started when around one year ago, I was briefed on the Eurostar project: “Come up with a design for an easy-to-maintain bug hotel and be inspired, make it your own!”. The idea my design surprisingly came to me rather quickly after I heard about the installation site’s vicinity to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Why not build a bug hotel based on the design of the Olympic stadium? And hence, the ‘Bug Stadium’ was born.

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November 2016 Notes from the Garden Shed

November 2016 Notes from the Garden Shed

The gardens team (plus anyone else we could find to help) have been busy planting bulbs for the spring. This is one activity that really shows that gardeners have to think and work seasons ahead. These days, the choice of bulbs is wonderfully wide, enabling us to have something flowering from January to May. Beekeepers recommend that you plant large-flowered crocus to give early flying honeybees a boost. These days, suppliers helpfully print a bee logo on the bulb packets to show which are good for pollen and nectar. We only choose insect-friendly varieties.

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Our Veg of the Month: Claytonia

Our Veg of the Month: Claytonia

Claytonia, originally known as miner's lettuce, was eaten to prevent scurvy due to its high vitamin C content. It is also considered a good source of beta carotene and protein. Fleshy for a salad crop, it is usually bright green in colour with rosette leaves and small pink or white flowers. The taste is often described as something between spinach and sprouts.

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