Notes from the garden shed: April 2017

Notes from the garden shed: April 2017

Fungi have been on my mind recently or, more precisely, on my trifle!  Yes, even my beloved trifle (in the fridge) has succumbed to a deadly attack from a grey mould. It’s got me thinking about what a mixed relationship we have with this kingdom, separate from plants and animals. Perhaps we’ve all personally suffered attacks from said kingdom – the dreaded ‘athlete’s foot’ or dandruff – but us gardeners at the Skip Garden have other uses for this family.  Firstly, without a good range of fungi, our compost wouldn’t decompose so quickly or so well and now we add mycorrhizal fungi to our soils to make a symbiotic relationship with our plants' roots, getting much better health and growth – so, love them or hate them, we really couldn’t live without them.

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BAM Construct's new green space in King's Cross

BAM Construct's new green space in King's Cross

Here at the Skip Garden, we love surprising people. So many people come to our garden, marvelling at how we’ve managed to create a green oasis in the heart of a very concrete jungle. They’re amazed that we are here, and that we’ve managed to create a beautiful, inspiring community space in an area that is so focused on building high and fast and new.

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An update on the new Skip Garden

An update on the new Skip Garden

Friday, the 29th of June, was D-Day, and the invitation went out to our friends and through our networks for the opening of the Skip Garden, which was to be included as part of the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture degree show and the London Architecture Festival.  This was also the day we needed to move out of our old Skip Garden site and so that evening a large van full of leftover materials would be driven down our campsite on Pertwood Organic Farm for a much-needed volunteering weekend.  On the Thursday before, I pick my way carefully across the site of the new Skip Garden... and my heart sinks.

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The skip garden is moving - New home update

The skip garden is moving - New home update

I woke this morning thinking about how we might get hold of 30 cubic meters of subsoil for the rammed earth wall that will form the back of our new passively heated green house. We are well and truly in the midst of the moment we all knew was coming … The Skip Garden is on the move, writes Jane Riddiford.

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Notes from the Kitchen

Notes from the Kitchen

Skip Garden Chef Sadhbh gives a run down of what we've been up to and what we've got coming up. We've catered a few daytime and evening events, including our very own lovely winter's evening of pizza and soup where the plans for the new Skip Garden site were launched. The UCL Bartlett School of Architecture presented their incredibly intricate and impressive models of the structures that are currently under construction for our new location. Pop by the cafe for a cuppa and a browse of these most practical, miniature works of art. 

Head chef, Andy, has been perfecting our signature sourdough recipe, similarly getting ready for our relaunch when we move to the new site, where there will be sandwiches galore in our new pool facing cafe! 

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Sharing Artful and Reflective Practice with Islington Youth Workers

Sharing Artful and Reflective Practice with Islington Youth Workers

Some years ago the Youth Team at Islington Council who have been the main funder for our Generator programme, started noticing the words of young people appearing in our funding reports. They were curious. What were the experiences that led to the vulnerability, creativity and sense of purpose they felt in the writing? This led to a six month commission to share our practice with Islington Youth Workers, writes Jane Riddiford.

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Jan 2015: Notes from the Kitchen

Jan 2015: Notes from the Kitchen

This January saw the grand reopening of the Skip Garden Cafe!

The kitchen team have been working hard over the last few months, tearing apart the old kitchen and putting together the fantastic set-up we have now. Since the refurbishment, the kitchen is much better equipped to keep up with the volumes of tasty food to be cooked.

The Cafe may have been closed for the past few months, but our chefs have been constantly busy. We’ve had a stream of events here at the Skip Garden, from evening drinks in the yurt, to sit-down banquets in the 12m polytunnel, where diners can enjoy a candlelit feast, surrounded by beds growing rainbow chard, wild rocket and other salad crops. We hosted toddlers’ birthday parties with pizzas baked in our own wood-fired cob ovens, as well as corporate dinners and drinks, booked by companies such as Eurostar.

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Jan 2015: Notes from the Garden

Jan 2015: Notes from the Garden

We were honoured recently when the Skip garden was chosen by Alan Titchmarsh to appear as a special mention in his TV programme ‘Britain’s Best Back Gardens’.

Click here to watch the clip!

Which got me thinking ‘what are my favourite gardens?’

Paul's Top Ten Gardens (some cheating)

1.  I don't think I've ever met a botanic garden I didn't like - a heady mix of science and art. These are some of my favourites – I’ve cheated by lumping them all together.

Kew, Wakehurst, Logan (Scotland), Caernarvon (Wales), Brooklyn & Bronx NY, Berkeley (USA) and Tenerife.

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Junior Chef Club

Junior Chef Club

In the dark cold winter months, there is nothing better than gathering around the fire telling stories and eating heart-warming food or getting a tray of freshly baked goods out of the oven to taste whilst still warm... especially when you have made it yourself! On Thursday afternoons,9 students from Mount Carmel and EGA made their way from school to the Skip Garden to take part in the Junior Chef Club, supported by 2 of our Senior Generators, Kaine and Kira. We wanted for the Junior Chefs to not only learn how to cook amazing food, but also to learn about themselves, how we are all connected to other things around us, where our food comes from and our role in helping plants grow.

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Nov 2014: Notes from the Kitchen

Nov 2014: Notes from the Kitchen

Well, it has been a busy couple of months in the Skip Garden Kitchen, writes Head Chef Andrew Isherwood. In the middle of September we took the decision to refurbish the kitchen as it wasn’t able to cope anymore with the demands that were being placed upon it. Originally designed to cook staff food and cater to the occasional workshop, the constant stream of events and bookings meant that the kitchen was groaning under the pressure.

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In praise of Twilight Volunteering

In praise of Twilight Volunteering

On the evening of October 22, we celebrated the closing of our successful Twilight Gardening project, a project that we have been running for years and we opened for a new season last spring, writes Silvia Pedretti.

Every other Wednesday regular and newcomers, from local and non-local areas, joined us at the Kings Cross Skip Garden throughout spring, summer and autumn, feeding us and the garden with their knowledge, enthusiasm and love for the community.

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Dec 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Dec 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Clothing crisis alert! The calendar says wrap up warm but the weather is so mild that even working in a Tee shirt feels hot – ridiculous! 

I’m writing this on the last day of November but it feels more like October. Most trees are still holding onto their leaves and I've just read the news that frogspawn has been found on Dartmoor – a new early record – but I can’t help thinking that it will end in tears for those poor frogs!

Our Bees are being sensible at least and staying in the hive although we’ve lots of nice flowers in the crop skips if they fancy a snack.

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Revisiting Global Generation’s History - 2012

Revisiting Global Generation’s History - 2012

As Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry wrote, “There is a deep pull within us to discover and be true to the fact of our own interrelatedness.“ We experienced a new kind of togetherness in 2012 when we moved the Skip Garden, the Hoop Garden and our office onto our current location, writes Jane Riddford.

Bringing the different parts of the organisation together enabled us to see and experience ourselves more clearly as an ecosystem. A big factor in enabling closer collaboration was the fact that for the first time we had a kitchen on site. This meant that we began to regularly sit down as a whole team, to share a cooked lunch together.

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Tile House Skip Garden sessions

Tile House Skip Garden sessions

One of the pleasures of working as Community Engagement Officer is having the opportunity to design projects that bring the values of the Skip Garden to the wider community, writes Ciara Wilkinson.

As the development continues, we find ourselves closer to residential buildings, and we have been keen for some time to begin engaging with those residents who pass the garden by every day, but who have never, or rarely, ventured inside it.

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