Training and Events
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Simple Ways to Grow your Own in the UK's Driest County - 16th February 2011, Chelmsford
Over two hundred people from all over Essex came to hear Christine Walkden talk at Writtle College on Thursday, 16th
February. The event, organised by the RCCE’s Edible Essex project, and
sponsored by Essex & Suffolk Water, was both entertaining and
extremely informative. She began with outlining how to get the most
from small spaces, by, for example, intercropping and succession
planting, and went on to explain how to improve soil to help retain
moisture and how to water efficiently.
The talk focused on the
fact that Essex is the driest county in the UK and how, according to
Christine, we would very soon need to change the way we garden. She
discussed simple water saving techniques, such as collecting rain water,
improving soil structure and using mulches, and gave the audience some
handy hints and tips.
has been a horticulturist since the age of ten when she first obtained
an allotment and started growing vegetables and flowers, which she sold
to her school teachers and local residents. Now an author, lecturer and
broadcaster, presenting on various radio and TV programmes, she is
currently the resident gardening expert for BBC 1’s ‘The One Show’.
Christine also talked
about her own garden, which is relatively small, and how hard she had to
work (and still has to) to improve the soil structure, before she
became self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables.
What was very evident to
all who attended the evening was Christine's commitment and passion as a
horticulturalist to inspire others to take up the trowel and start
growing. The evening drew to a close with Christine taking questions
from the audience and signing her new book.
Edible Essex leaflet entitled “Simple Ways to Grow Your Own – in the
UK’s driest county” was produced to accompany the event. If you would
like a copy, or more information about Edible Essex, please contact
Sophie Blythe Sophie.Blythe@essexrcc.org.uk
Volunteering on a Community Allotment - 6th December 2011, Roundwood, Braintree
Community allotments enable people of all ages and backgrounds to grow food as a group. They provide healthy, cheap and fresh food, as well as a range of skill building opportunities, companionship and physical and mental health benefits.intain the plot, but also play an important role in engaging with visiting groups and individuals, to facilitate learning experiences and the growing of fruit and vegetables.
Edible Essex, in collaboration with Voluntary Sector Training, organised a FREE event designed to equip both new and existing volunteers, with the practical skills, knowledge and confidence they need to successfully work on a community allotment plot.
The event, led by horticultural and mentoring experts, provided:
* demonstrations and practical advice on planning and tending the allotment
* an introduction to working with young people and vulnerable adults
* an opportunity to meet other volunteers and share experiences and ideas
Foraging Taster Session Saturday, 8th October 2011 - Abbotts Hall Farm, Colchester
Abbotts Hall Farm played host to 40 keen foragers on Saturday. The Foraging Taster session was organised by
Edible Essex and led by the fantastic staff at the Essex Wildlife Trust.
The session started with a guided walk around the farm, the headquarters of Essex Wildlife Trust. During the walk the participants discovered more about identifying edible plants and fruits that grow wild in the countryside and were able to collect sloes, bullaces, medlars, rosehips, crab apples and blackberries, to name but a few. As the farm is situated on the Blackwater Estuary, they were also able to collect some Samphire. The morning finished with a cuppa around an open fire, where recipe suggestions were shared and some of the harvest was cooked and sampled – including some sloe gin and medlar vodka!
The free event was aimed at groups from all over Essex, such as Parish Councils, who either wanted to, or were in the process of setting up an allotment and/or orchard.
The session was led by Karen Kenny, Eastern Region Representative for the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners, who talked about how to get started, what you need to provide and basic allotment management.
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