Join us for a LEAP work party in St George's Park meeting at 10am as usual by the shelter to undertake a spot of community gardening and food growing. The work parties are now part of the regular life of the park where local volunteers give their time to look after its upkeep. New volunteers are always welcome - have a look at our Volunteering Page at the above link or just come along to say hello. As always the tools and gloves are provided as are the refreshments. Meet other people, get involved, be outdoors and chill out. There is a level of activity to suit more or less every body irrespective of ability, skill or fitness. There is a wealth of evidence to show that being in green spaces and also being involved in community projects like LEAP have many health benefits. Add to that access to unsprayed free food and it's a win-win situation.
Let's Eat the Park!
Here are a few images from today's work party. Let's Eat the Park work parties continue more or less weekly on Saturday mornings, as they have for more than two years. Today's work party laboured in the languid sunshine, Spike cutting a hedge and mowing the labyrinth while the others weeded, watered, tidied and spruced up path edges. Some of the party also harvested Rainbow Chard for their own consumption. Work parties are loosely negotiated affairs with the LEAP gardening lead Spike doing just that - i.e. leading the gardening where and when co-ordinated effort is required. People come along and just pitch in, we had more feeback today that people are harvesting the crops as they ripen which of course is exactly the plan. Here are a few photos to give you a taste of the park.
Although the initial funding for LEAP is now over, the project continues and is going strong. We are currently awaiting the somewhat delayed delivery of raised bed sleepers to develop LEAP sites in the paddling pool area of St George's Park. The project continues to spread out from St George's park with edibles planted in window boxes at the nearby Old Peacock Hotel on Blackwell Street, at the heart of the Horsefair. If you are interested in getting involved new volunteers are always welcome to join us. Tonight I will be eating my FREE rainbow chard which at the closest supermarket to St George's Park is today priced at £1 for 200 grams. In a town where the food bank is over-subscribed this represents quite a bargain for unsprayed, natural, nutritious food which supermarkets usually charge a premium for - it's just there for the picking! Here is a picture of tomatoes and other edibles growing in pub planters at the Peacock as LEAP creates new micro allotments in the locality.
A Community that Eats Together Meets Together in our little town centre urban green space
Let's Eat the Pub!
A lot has happened over the couple of months that the website was down while we struggled with a failing computer which has now been replaced. So much has happened over that time that it is difficult to condense it all down to a manageable size to post on here or on the LEAP Blog. However, we'll catch up a little with an update on where we are up to. In June the initial People's Health Trust funding came to an end. The LEAP Team haven't applied for any more funds at the moment because the project remains solvent and self sustaining at the present time. That may well change in the future but the pump priming funds have truly established LEAP as the most sustainable and successful resident-led project in the Horsefair area of Kidderminster and indeed beyond that. It is a fact of life that if you provide goods and services at no cost to the community good fortune tends to accrue to the project and people do things for free in return. This reciprocal cashless economy is sustained by low profile fundraising and deals done within the community. This example has had a salutory effect on the locality and prefigured the recently conceived Horsefair & Proud project by two years of groundwork upon which the latter campaign has been able to build.
The reputation of Let's Eat the Park in the locality and further afield has established it as a great success of self-help and community cohesion in a hitherto struggling area, creating the foundation for greater community engagement upon which more recent intiatives have prospered. We in the LEAP team are particularly proud of the way in which, through our free food and free community festivals in St George's Park, we have raised the profile of the Hosefair/Greenhill areas which others are now beginning to pick up on.
We have again had the children from St George's Primary School yesterday for one of their regular planting sessions in partnership with the Friends of St George's Park and the LEAP team. They have re-established the St George's Flag motif in the triangular bed dedicated to the community gardening efforts of students at the school.
The LEAP project is literally moving forward in leaps and bounds. Six raised beds have been planted with edibles and another four (supported by the Royal Horticultural Society) are going to be established very soon.
Other edibles in the Three Sisters Bed, various LEAP sites in the park and in the neighbourhood including the local church and nearby pub are all doing well, as are the fruit trees we've established in the LEAP urban orchard. All over the LEAP locality fruit, vegetables and herbs are growing for sharing across all of our diverse community, crops having been chosed by people at one of our public events over the past couple of years. People in the area know the project and meet the LEAP work parties that have become a regular feature of the park on a Saturday morning. New volunteers have come to the project over the past six months strengthening it, embedding it ever more deeply in the community and underwriting its sustainability. Here are a few pictures of what can presently be found by visitors to the park all of which is available to a growing network of pickers/harvesters.
NEXT WORK PARTY Saturday 9 July 2016 Meet 10am at the shelter!
All welcome! Tools, gloves and refreshments are all available for volunteer use and enjoyment - plus plenty of good company, fresh air, gentle activity and a fun few hours most weekends working in our own community, taking control of our own environment, creating a FREE food supply for all.
Let's Eat the Park - a People's Project in the People's Park (Since 1927)
Friends of St George's Park
We are an active community group that is committed to working with others in order to further develop and improve St George's Park in Kidderminster for all of the community to enjoy.
Tell people about us
We welcome different ideas and opinions on how to improve our park and we hope you will share yours with us. Please remember this is a community based website and whilst we will not censor different opinions we will remove any posts that are offensive or abusive.