The council gave Incredible Edible Ramsbottom the land at the side of The Good Samaritan. This is quite a big wedge of land to plant up and maintain. However, we were convinced that it would be a great showcase and a great statement to show our commitment to making Rammy self sufficient in veggies.
Joy was in charge of soil and managed to persuade Jason and Pam to visit TEG near Todmorden, where they recycle green waste and some food into compost. We laughed our way around their massive works which took some doing given the stench. The stench followed us home, even Pam’s wristwatch needed high maintenance. TEG is a brilliant plant to visit but not so easy to rub off when you get home. The manager told us that the good people of Ramsbottom would not thank us for using their particular compost in the middle of town but for future projects (up-wind) they would be happy to help.
We then visited Summerseat Garden Centre and luckily met with the owner, John Ainscough, who was very helpful and extremely generous in supplying us with sleepers and soil at a discounted price. We purchased 10 handsome oak sleepers that will last and look really good. This was made possible by a generous donation from Ramsbottom Rotary Club.
It felt like a long process to get all the ends tied up with dates and monies in place, but it was worth it when roughly 20 people turned up on 7th May, to build the raised beds. Some of them were local residents responding to leaflets, posted the Thursday before by Rebecca, Ruth and Pam. Of course, it was tipping down with rain, but young Sam, Summer and Matilda decided to enjoy the rain and mud in handfuls (see below).
Lamin was our carpenter extraordinaire who put the sleepers together. This sounds easier than it was as he was working 4 inches off the ground, it was raining like a raining thing and his drill ran out of juice! He battled against all the odds and managed to put the raised beds together. As soon as he screwed a corner, before you could say 'cucumber' a pea plant was poked in the soil and planted! Everyone was getting stuck in, turf lifting, moving soil, padding down edges, lining up the sleepers, filling buckets, planting precious little seedlings in straight rows. Si was bringing coffee and bacon butties (and vege equivalents) for the troops. Moral was high, coffees were frothy, beans were in a row and life doesn't get much better than this.
N.B. We meet every Thursday at 6.30pm to tend to the veg and swap seeds, plants and information. Everyone is welcome. If you find you've a glut of gooseberries, a lot of leeks, one strawberry too many, a raspberry too far then come to our swap shop.