I must admit that when I first sat down to consider Incredible Edible Ramsbottom 2012 I thought of rain and mud and trees with little fruit, but on thinking a bit more realised what a successful year it’s really been.
February saw us shifting several tons of frozen soil to create six vegetable beds outside the fire station and these have been really productive over the year and attracted quite a bit of public attention. The fire station now also has a bee hive, several apple trees round the back and we are about to convert a flower bed at the front of the station into a patch of fruit bushes.
Talking of fruit
We’ve also planted another apple tree in Nuttall Park and now have a large bed of black currant and gooseberry bushes.
St Andrews School and Stubbins Primary School have also received apple trees and we intend that every school in Ramsbottom has at least one fruit tree.
We’ve continued to work with the children on the beds at Peel Brow School but are hoping that parents will eventually become more involved.
Eagle and Child
The Eagle + Child has been very supportive and created its own excellent Incredible Edible beer garden complete with chickens. We held a grafting workshop in the basement, the lovely landlord 'Glen' has also allowed us the use of the fantastic upstairs room to hold talks on chicken keeping, beekeeping and an Eco House (Green Cottage) in Bury. We also held our Autumn Festival in the Beer Garden and amazingly the sun shone as it did for Ramsons Day and the Wassail in the orchard.
This year we were very fortunate to receive a community grant with which we’ve been able to buy fruit trees and bushes, tools, a cover for the green house in Holly Mount Orchard, a ladder, strimmer and a wheelbarrow. Unrelated but still a blessing is the rough spare land behind Isherwoods furniture shop in Ramsbottom that some of our members have now transformed into a lovely wildflower garden which I know both the bees and the locals appreciate.
We’ve also done some fundraising by having two very successful and enjoyable Ceilidhs and produced Incredible Edible calendars featuring our members’ children doing a bit of gardening. These are now available at only £2.95 so contact Pam or myself if you would like to buy one.
Plans for next year include a pruning course, a grafting course (see our orchard newsletter) and a continuation of our mission to plant more fruit trees and bushes around the town.
We’d really like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us through the year - especially those who’ve carried on in the cold and wet.Hope you all had a Happy Christmas and have an Incredible New Year
Lynn and the IER team