Lunch and Learning 2017: A journey into the extraordinary of the ordinary

Lunch and Learning 2017: A journey into the extraordinary of the ordinary

At the Skip Garden, nothing really stops. Movement is everywhere. Life is everywhere.

Underneath the soil, in the compost, in the hives, in all the structures,  journeys and stories are happening day and night. But what’s alive is not just creatures. I feel our projects are living too. They carry on breathing and moving even during winter and summer breaks.

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Presence, connection and tranquility in Pertwood

Presence, connection and tranquility in Pertwood

The sun had finally set, it was dark out and there we were, 17 girls, marching intrepidly through the darkness on a night-walk, without any sense of direction, yet full of trust on our last night together. We were linked, not only physically; holding onto the shoulder, piece of clothing (or ponytail) of whoever stumbled in front of us; but also as a group, a team, a wild pack of young women who had just spent the weekend together – joined together in silence, laughter, and some bug-induced screams.

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July Notes from the Garden Shed

July Notes from the Garden Shed

Happy Hill of Summer! – I hope you’re all enjoying this the most productive time of the year in the veg garden. Now many wildflowers, shrubs and fruit trees are past their flowering period and are busy setting fruit and seeds. The Dog Rose flowers of the hedgerows, along with many other hedgerow shrubs are long gone and are now replaced with ripening hips - food for next winter’s hungry birds and the wild harvesters amongst us (who dream of rose hip syrups, jams and teas).

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A name doesn't say it all

A name doesn't say it all

One evening, just over ten years ago, I listened as Paul Richens told a story about the soil: about bacteria we imagined as Minstrels chocolates, and worms the size of tube trains in comparison. With Jane and Paul guiding us, we built wicker planters for sweet peas, rocket, potatoes, in the garden of the block of flats where I grew up in King’s Cross.

As I got older, I drifted away from everyday life in King’s Cross, changing schools and eventually moving abroad. I missed the moment when the Skip Garden got its current site – all of a sudden, in addition to the skips, there were actual buildings: the café, the glasshouse, the huge poly-tunnel... It had grown in size and substance, become more real. 

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The Old Ways, the New Stories

The Old Ways, the New Stories

"We are filled with a longing for the wild.  There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning.  We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed"

Women who run with the wolves - Contacting the power of the wild woman' by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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Notes from the Garden Shed

Notes from the Garden Shed

Happy solstice - we are now at that time of year of maximum insect abundance with daylight at 17 hours and high temperatures make it an insect heaven!

The availability of insects means that everywhere is awash with flowers hoping to attract insect attention to come visit and pollinate.  So it’s temperature / insects / flowers – humans are not part of this formula!

While the gardens team have been maintaining the planters at the Rotunda restaurant besides the Regents canal in King’s Place: they’ve been treated to the sight of Dragonflies drying themselves after hatching from their underwater stage. 

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Growing a Collective kind of Creativity

Growing a Collective kind of Creativity

As with all of Global Generation’s work, the team at Canada Water are on an ongoing learning journey. It's something we don't do on our own; we do it together. Thanks to funding from British Land each Friday over the last five months we have been able to be at the Printworks, making, growing, cooking and eating together. There’s a rhythm and a ritual to it, which has helped bring out common ground between us as a creative team. It has been a supportive environment in which to try new things, and practice the delicate art of setting intentions, laying down ground work, gathering tools and materials and then letting go and seeing what comes. Now we are fully rolling with our community workshop process, we are reaping the benefits of this. 

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Experiencing the Kings Cross Bee Tour

Experiencing the Kings Cross Bee Tour

The Honey Club was set up by charity Global Generation, brand agency Wolff Olins and social enterprise Urban Bees, with a mission to create a bee caring community in King's Cross – from rooftop to garden, hive to street, businesses to people. As Wolff Olins has moved out of the area, so two of Global Generation's young volunteers are now project co-leaders of The Honey Club. 
As a project co-leader one of my tasks will be to host local events around bees and honey during the year. Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a bee trail around King's Cross run by Alison Benjamin co-founder of Urban Bees. It is marketed as an Airbnb experience for people looking for something to do during their stay or visit to London. As part of the experience, I met people from countries including China and Switzerland and from England.

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Project Grow!

Project Grow!

Wow, what a lot I've learnt. The seeds for the ideas surrounding my alumni project were sown with my move to London from the countryside just over a year ago. I felt strangely surrounded by so many people, but many belonging to separate communities. My mind went over and over ideas about how these communities could create something together using the natural world as inspiration.

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Rethinking Leadership

Rethinking Leadership

 

Leadership is a word I’ve never really encountered during my time with Global Generation - both 7 years ago as a Generator and in more recent times as an Intern. It certainly isn’t a word that springs to mind when I think about our team. On Tuesday however, I was lucky enough to be a participant in a training day we hosted for The Wellcome Trust’s People team (formerly Human Resources Dept) on the theme of leadership and learning which sparked a new-found fascination with exactly what it means to be a good leader, and opened my eyes to the positive impact that having a full understanding of leadership can have in all aspects of our lives. 

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