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Vegging Out with Elizabeth Court Residents: Wigston


Vegging Out with Elizabeth Court Residents: Wigston

Master Gardener Liz Bellamy has been supporting a new residents’ garden on the Elizabeth Court council estate in Wigston.  Last autumn, Community Inclusion Officer  Jane Morris, who works at the Boulter Crescent Community Flat, jumped at the idea of a community garden in her area.

 

 

Ian, making pumpkin soup

With support from a small group of residents and Master Gardener Liz, she floated the idea to other residents by running a stall at a ‘Supersonic Doom!’ Halloween event at Elizabeth Court.  Liz, Master Gardener Steve Pike, and resident Ian Vernon, made and handed out pumpkin soup to draw people in to conversations about  growing their own food.

What followed was several months of hard work, researching and planning how to create, and where to place, a series of raised beds.  This involved some real community development, both with the residents of Elizabeth Court, with help from local council maintenance man, Roy and through the involvement of Brocks Hill rangers from Oadby, who had recently installed their own beds.  Master Gardener Malcolm Brown from Oadby was also a great help in advising on the bed, as was John Beckett and the other volunteers at Enderby’s ‘A Place to Grow’ Community Allotment.

In April 2015, the wBed building, Elizabeth Courtork started in earnest.  Liz marked out the locations of the beds with tapioca flour and raspberry canes, materials she had easily to hand.   With two days of hard work and camaraderie, a group of enthusiastic gardeners of all ages transformed an empty stretch of grass behind a block of flats into a productive garden.  They built raised beds and shovelled in a great mound of topsoil.  The broken fence was fixed and the ground next to it cleared and lined with raspberry canes and potatoes, planted in stacks of tyres.  Someone donated young brassica plants and a resident brought a tray of pepper plants.  They planted chard, strawberries, sunflowers and beans with residents marking each plant or seed they placed with a label bearing their own name.

What was a dreary space, dominated by ugly and damaged fencing, is now an uplifting and beautiful sign of the residents’ joint achievements and a space where they can work, meet together and encourage others to get involved.  The impact on other residents of all this activity has already been noted as somone from a flat overlooking the site has put out their own container, planted up with strawberries.  Let’s hope that this will be the first of many and that many more Elizabeth Court residents will come out into this space to find out what is going on and get involved.

Well done to all involved and we look forward to seeing your first harvest.

 

Elizabeth Court before

Elizabeth Court – Before, an ugly, unloved space with a broken fence where people take short cuts through from the footpath.

 

After at Elizabeth Court

After – fence mended and a productive garden full of plants donated by supporters. A demonstration of shared hard work and enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to get involved, contact us through this website or call Jane Morris at the Boulter Crescent Community flat on 0116 288 7576 or email  jane.morris@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

 

 

 

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