August 2017: New Projects Underway at Incredible Edible Hooky

I have never been so obsessed with the weather! As you may recall, after the construction of the new Apothecary Garden at the Health Centre, our water butt was stolen. We spent several weeks thereafter trying to find a blacksmith who might custom-make some security fittings. In the meantime, we have been ham-strung, unable to finish the garden due to the absence of a water source. Finally, the butts arrived a couple of weeks back – but at the time of writing this, as yet there has been no rain! However, we are optimistic that by the 22nd July – the date we have scheduled to finish the garden - some rain will have fallen upon the roof of the health centre and the plants that we will be putting in will survive.

On another note, we are pushing forward with our plans for a new ‘Incredible’ garden at the school. These plans are quite ambitious, and we will be seeking in the region of £6-7,000 to fund new beds, cold frames, a greenhouse, womeries, compost bins etc. We now have two leads for the project; Annie Tullet and Kay Lilley. They will be running a new gardening club come the autumn. To begin with, they will be using what little is already available at the school, while we wait for essential funds to be raised. This will allow us to build new garden and to get our Incredible School Garden project underway. Our aim will be to run the garden with a curriculum which will allow the children as a group to apply for the RHS Children’s Gardening Scheme award. These are the levels we will be aiming at, as described by the RHS in their literature:

Level One: - We understand the benefits of gardening to children and young people -A person has been chosen to lead the gardening project/activity - An area has been identified for a gardening project/activity - We have planned the area and are looking at resources we might need - We understand hazards in the garden

Level Two: - We have started to grow some plants - We are asking our students what they want to grow - We can use basic gardening terms -We can use hand tools safely - We have the skills to prepare the soil, sow, plant and water

Level Three: - Our Leadership Team or local community support our gardening project - We have built on our practical skills and can prepare areas ready for planting - We grow a simple range of fruits, vegetables and flowers - We encourage wildlife to the garden by providing homes and habitats - We re-use as many things as we can and understand composting.

Level Four: - We can use tools like a professional gardener to dig, rake and sow - We know how to protect our plants against the weather, pests and diseases - We can plan seasonally to harvest produce throughout the year - We know how to use the produce from our garden - We raise funds to buy seeds, plants and equipment for our garden.

Level Five: - We can talk enthusiastically about our garden and inform others of the plants we have growing and any projects or activities we have done - We share our garden with others in our local community through open days, sales and events - We can pass on our gardening skills to others in the school or group - We have or will offer our gardening skills to the local community to help with projects or gardening needs - We use the garden as much as we can, our garden has a future.

Do keep your eyes open for registration.

We are also very excited about the return of the village market on the 22nd July. It will run through the morning at the Memorial Hall. This is great opportunity to buy more local produce and support our local food producers. Please check out the Hook Norton Market Facebook page for more information

Finally, as ever, there are always places for new volunteers. It does not matter how old you are or if you have any gardening knowledge. There are many different types of activities required to allow the project to thrive. So, if the environment matters to you, or you simply want to meet new people, do contact us on incredibeediblehooky@gmail.com or call Sarah on 01608 737642. See you in the autumn!

Sarah Morris – Project Chair and Co-ordinator

Sarah Morris