The first day we took a trip around Charnwood and the surrounding areas, visiting Organo Compost, Community Harvest Whetstone - a sustainable vegetable co-operative in Leicestershire, Eco-House & Garden, the Carpenters Arms -a Christian-run rehabilitation centre for men suffering from drug/alcohol addiction, and Shelthorpe Garden - a communal garden transformed from a derelict plot of land. The second day of the workshop involved a programme of speakers who talked about food production, supply and distribution and sustainability. It was fascinating to learn about new sustainable movements, such as 'slow cities' in Norfolk and more local projects such as the Voluntary Action Charnwood's Gardening Project, and how the local Council were tackling these issues.
The third and final day of the workshop we designed and created our gardens. It was really interesting to see how everyone had different ideas about what a political garden involved.
My group teamed up with another group, to explore ideas of over-population, invasion and resources and how these could be translated into a garden. We had 2 small plots that were connected by a channel of soil. The first plot focused on 'local', sourcing soil from various locations around campus and creating a patchwork grid of soils. This was then left to see what would germinate naturally.
The second plot had a more 'global' apprach, with imported compost and plants and structures to help the plants spread. We deliberately chose rampant, spreading plants to represent increasing population, such as spiderplants, strawberries, runner beans, sweet peas and grasses. The plot was fertile, rich and diverse and we anticipated it would 'invade' the 'local' plot once it had run out of space and resources.