As I sit in our 'Flying Classroom', our refurbished portable cabin from which we have run countless workshops over the last 3 years with people of all ages and from all walks of life, I see a concrete patch in front of me. Gone are the plants that were so integral to the Skip Garden, off to find a new home. Last week, with Kier's generous help, most of the planters and all the skips with fruit trees in full bloom, rainbow chard, leeks, black cabbages covered in small yellow flowers, marigolds and happy bees buzzing all over them, were taken from our current site to our new space a little further north on the King's Cross development site, next to the soon to be opened natural swimming pond.
It is amazing to see how much stuff we have managed to build up over the years, we are natural hoarders ... there might always be a use, something creative we can do with various waste material - skips, scaffold boards, pallets, gravel, water pipes, materials from previous workshops, deck chairs, clay figures, wooden animals made with children, and it goes on and on. How much of this do we hold on to? And how much is this an opportunity to start afresh? A chance for new stories to emerge and for ever more people to be involved in building the new site.
Whilst the old garden is becoming barer and barer, over at the new Skip Garden it is getting fuller and fuller. The Bartlett School students are in full flow, the foundations for the bigger structures are up and looking amazing, especially prevalent at the moment are Rachel's glasshouse, Ali's natural coolstore with our office on top, Yang Yang's wetlands dining area and Valerie's beautiful tree which will be the centre of the new chicken coop. The skips are in, the portable cabins which will be the cafe and the new classroom are in and then lots and lots of materials everywhere. We are looking at all moving on there over the next few days and have a series of volunteer days planned to help build and finish off the structures, including the Guardian's Tech Team, Google's Sales team, staff from Carillion, our Lunch and Learning workshops with local school children and of course our Generators.
Our official launch date for the new cafe opening is Wednesday 20 May - we will be open Tuesday to Saturdays serving up a daily special, seasonal salads with produce from the garden, sandwiches made with our own sourdough bread, daily homebaked cakes and proper coffee. Please drop by and say hello. We look forward to welcoming you all in our new home.