Tag Archives: urban agriculture

topsy turvy tomatoes

9 May

Last year they got rid of the taps on our allotment, meaning all our water now has to come from a tank and we can no longer use the hose pipe. This has made The Man and I much more mindful of the amount of water we use, mainly because we now have to carry it and I decided to have a go at alternative ways of planting to reduce how much water we need to use and carry, good for us and a little better for the environment. So take selection of household items,

and you too can make one of these;

an upside down tomato planter.

It was quite easy to make and time will tell how well it works, but it should reduce the amount of water needed to feed the plant and would be a great space saver.

To make one you will need; 1 large plastic bottle, duct tape, a chopstick, string, scissors and compost. Be warned it is a bit fiddly!

Cut the bottom off the bottle and poke some small holes in it, you will need this later. Next make holes in the side of the bottle to pass the chopstick through, this will be what you attach the string to hang it up with. Then, VERY GENTLY feed the tomato plant through the neck of the bottle, use some rolled up news paper to help stop the plant falling through. Hang the bottle up in your chosen spot and fill with compost and wedge the inverted bottom back in the body of the bottle; it will act as a drip feeder. Lastly wrap the whole lot with the tape to hold it all together and protect the roots from the light. Feed and water regularly and keep your fingers crossed!

The kids are alright!

13 Dec

Last weekend me and The Man were involved in the first good for nothing a day which saw three amazing causes and a whole host of creative people come together matching skills with needs and seeing how much we could together in 24 hours. The cause we decided to work on was Global Generation an organisation dedicated to giving young people opportunities and helping them play a part in creating a sustainable future. Based in and around Kings Cross they have developed roof gardens with companies based in the area and have a campsite in Wiltshire which gives the young people they work with a chance to spend time on an organic farm in a very rural area, a sharp contrast to the area they live in.

The day started with a visit to their skip garden, in the middle of the Kings Cross station building site.

I was so impressed by the work they do there, all the skips can be moved and run on  a crop rotation system, the team also have an arrangement with the canteen at the Guardian so the young volunteers or “generators” can hone their business skills and confidence selling produce to the chef.

It was very cold, and there was still snow on the ground but there was still an impressive variety of crops growing, more than on our allotment! Urban agriculture is something I’m really interested in and it was great to see the innovative use of space and diversity of things being grown.

We were given a tour of the site by one of the generators and then headed back to base to get working on the briefs for each project. The Man and I worked with some of the young people on their Facebook and twitter presence so they could communicate more easily and quickly with a wider group of people; whether that is young people uploading photos from their phones or letting people know about open event’s at Global Generation’s sites. Hopefully it will be sustainable, easy to manage and take their work to a wider audience.

The day was very busy on and my head was spinning by the end of it, but it was brilliant to be part of something which made a real difference in a short space of time as well as helping a cause I feel passionately about and the young people were a joy to work with. You can find out more about  Global Generation at their website and now you can follow them on twitter have a look, they really are rather wonderful!

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