Vending machines full of seeds are to be installed across Weston-super-Mare in a bid to get people growing their own.
The pop up machines will stock ‘feral seed kits’ to encourage people to connect with nature and develop a love of gardening.
The kits will include a seed pack and hand-made instruction booklet and will be available via customised vending machines located around Weston from September 18 as part of the Weston Arts and Health Week.
The packs will include a mix of wild flower and herb seeds.
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The vending machines are part of the new community initiative ‘Grow Feral’ led by Weston based artists and creative producer Sam Francis.
The project, commissioned by Culture Weston and funded by Arts Council England, is calling on communities to engage with the natural world.
As well as the vending machines there will also be a series of workshops and hands on ‘making and doing’ sessions at Clark’s Field Allotments in the town.
A micro garden with seating will also be created in Weston town centre and a wood fired clay oven built on a town allotment to provide communal meals.
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The micro garden and growing space will open at the end of September to mark the end of Big Green Week and the Weston Arts and Health Week.
The oven will be fired up for a communal meal using produce grown on Osprey’s allotment, as part of a community open day celebrating Heritage Open Days on September 19.
Sam Francis said: “Grow Feral is a collaborative project between the land and the people of Weston-super-Mare, to consider how we want to live, co-exist, and connect through food and all things green.
The Osprey Allotments in Weston-super-Mare
(Image: Alison Price)
“Together, we can be empowered to contribute to the amazing biodiversity of life on earth, which is under continuous threat and needs our help.”
All workshops are free, recommended for people aged 18 and over and people are invited to bring their own lunch along
Workshopswill take place in August and September at Osprey Gardens, Clark’s Field Allotments, Rectors Way, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 3NR. Places are limited and need to be booked in advance by emailing [email protected]
Here is the full list of workshop dates and details
Co-create Grow Feral Micro-Garden : Friday 13 & Sat 14 August, 10am-4pm
Co-design a new micro-garden exploring the principles of ‘permaculture’ and looking at natural ecosystems to create a seated, green and growing area for Weston town centre and a shared space for residents and visitors alike to meet and be with nature.
The sessions will draw upon and explore Permaculture principles to develop a playful
and plantful design considering the aesthetics of plants, growing and the natural world.
The sessions will be led by Abel Pearson of Glasbren – an inspiring, not for profit organisation and small-holding based in Carmarthenshire, Wales.
The Art of Botanics: Plant Crafting sessions for women: Friday 20 & 27 August, 10am-2pm
Within a small group, explore the creative potential of plants and our connection to the natural world through a range of plant crafting activities, which both have proven therapeutic benefits for body, mind and soul.
The sessions include a sensory tour of the allotment site in full bloom to identify and gather the myriad wildflowers, plants, weeds, flowers and vegetables to use during the crafting activities, which include monoprinting and cyanotypes to making wildflower seed packs.
Participants will also design and make ‘Grow your own Feral Kits’ which will include a seed pack, hand-made instruction booklet, and prints made by workshop participants.
The kits will be available via customised vending machines located around Weston from September 18 as part of the Weston Arts + Health Week
From the Earth to the Table: Build a Wood-fired Clay Oven : Friday 3 & Friday 10 September, 10am-4pm
Co-build an outdoor clay oven for the purpose of baking food, using clay extracted from the soil and other reclaimed natural materials.
The sessions, led by Bristol based Rachel Baker, will be a hands-in-the-earth experience – a physical and tactile process involving ‘puddling’ (mixing the clay-sand mixture with your hands – or feet!) to construct a unique clay oven. The oven will be fired up for a communal meal using produce grown on Osprey’s allotment, as part of a community open day celebrating Heritage Open Days on Sunday 19 September.
There is also a chance to make Japanese ‘Dorodango’ – balls of mud, molded by hand to form perfect spheres, then dried and highly polished to disguise their earthen origins.
Rachel lived in Weston as a teenager and has united her skills as both a potter and a baker, to build a number of clay ovens with community groups in the area.
Grow Feral, Taste Feral:Osprey Community Allotment Open Day & Cook Up for Heritage Open Days and Arts + Health Week: Sunday 19 September, 12-4pm – drop in.
Open to all ages.
Produced by Theatre Orchard & Culture Weston, and led by Sam Francis as part of Heritage Open Days: Edible England.
At Osprey Gardens, Clark’s Field Allotments, Rectors Way, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 3NR.
Osprey Community Allotment volunteers have been busy all year establishing the site using permaculture principles, growing familiar English fruit and vegetables, and developing an ‘exotic’ polytunnel called ‘Bato Kunku’ (Gambian for ‘farm by the sea’) attempting to grow produce that originates from outside the UK.
The event will include on a sensory tour of the community allotment site with it’s cottage garden and orchards in full bloom, and sample some of its delicious produce cooked up by Weston’s Loves Cafe using a clay oven specially made for the event. Donations are welcomed.
A host of creative activities will also be on offer using natural materials found on the allotment including willow weaving, plant print-making and making herbal tea-bags.
People will also be able to pick up specially designed menu cards and try vegetable apple bobbing.
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